In Johnson County there is a road known locally as the Sand Road.
Recently, while driving to an appointment, I was struck by the visual contrasts along this road.
From just south of the Terry Trueblood Recreational area, to the road into the community of Hills, the wildflowers along the road were in full bloom — flax, brown-eyed susans, mullein plus a few purple coneflowers. A spectacular sight.
From the Hills Road to Highway 22, it was another matter. As I approached Highway 22, the scene changed rapidly. Instead of beautiful wildflowers, I saw dead cornstalks where the water sat in the fields for several weeks. Not just one or two fields with destruction, but many. A very sad sight.
How can we equalize these two sections of the same road? Is there a way to prevent this massive flooding? As a city-dweller, I wondered how small farmers can recover from this massive destruction. Year after year, Mother Nature determines success or failure for individual farmers.
Upstream in Iowa City, most people never will see this destruction firsthand. Their lives have not been affected. Small farmers’ lives have been.