Meadville, Mo. – An $8.3 million pump station and drainage system project will improve wetland habitat management at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Fountain Grove Conservation Area in Livingston County. Water management will be improved for wetlands important to migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wildlife in northwest Missouri.
The Missouri Conservation Commission on Dec. 14 approved a contract for the project with Lehman Construction LLC of California, Mo. Construction is expected to begin in February and the contract calls for the work to be completed by Aug. 1, 2020.
The pump station will include three electric pumps pulling water from the Grand River, said Chris Freeman, MDC wildlife management biologist. This will replace a single diesel pump. The change will increase the volume of water than can be pumped but also allow more variance in flows as needed according to weather and waterfowl needs at the 7,906-acre area. Water is pumped only if the flow in the Grand River is sufficient so that pumping does not affect the river’s ecology or agriculture uses. The project is Phase II at Fountain Grove of MDC’s Golden Anniversary Wetland Renovation program.
Also included will be a new drainage structure for the west side wetland complex. This improvement will allow water to be pulled from various wetland pools as needed and leave levels up at other pools. Currently, all the west side pools must be drained at the same time.
Fountain Grove Conservation Area is an important migration stop during autumn and spring for ducks, geese, and shorebirds. The area provides diverse habitats for a wide variety of wildlife. Habitat types include marshes, bottomland forests, grain fields, and oxbow lakes. A heron rookery is located along Locust Creek and bald eagles are commonly seen on the area during winter.
For more information about Fountain Grove, visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/fountain-grove-ca.