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Big Ditch Cost Share 

Financial and technical assistance is available to landowners and operators in the Big Ditch Watershed through an Illinois EPA319 grant.  The goal is to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) identified in the Big Ditch Implementation Plan, that reduce sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen loads and improve water quality.  


Eligible BMPs include: Cover Crops, Grassed Waterways, Nutrient Management Plans and other structural BMPs, including WASCOBs and Streambank projects.


Frank Rademacher is assisting the CCSWCD and will be available to provide free, no-obligation technical assistance consulting covering everything from cover crop planting to cash crop planting.  Consulting includes: application methods, additional funding sources, equipment set-up, nutrient management, termination and more.    


Keep an eye out for upcoming events in the area.

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Interested in sharing your thoughts to help us with similar programs in the future? 

Complete an application today!  Please contact us with questions.   


Projects will promptly be batched and ranked and you will promptly know, if your project is funded.


Requirements are minimal but do include:

  • Landowner/operator agreement form.

  • Completion of STAR form.

  • For Cover Crops and Structural BMPs, submit copies of your bills. 

  • Structural practices must be designed and constructed to NRCS Standards.

  • Installation of a temporary field sign.


For more information contact us:

Renee Weitekamp - call/text 847-780-6134

Frank Rademacher – call/text 217-530-5572



Your Champaign County SWCD applied and received this grant funding with the goal of helping landowners and operator in your efforts to maintain a productive farm and improve water quality.  Find out more about the Illinois EPA Section 319 program by clicking here.




ALL BMPS will be designed to meet USDA NRCS standards and specifications unless otherwise approved by Illinois EPA.


Cover Crops: crops planted to temporarily protect the ground from wind and water erosion and supply living roots to the soil during times when cropland is often not adequately protected. This vegetation slows erosion, improves soil health, and improves nutrient retention and cycling. 


Grassed Waterway: An engineered practice involving construction of a vegetated channel that conveys runoff without eroding the underlying soil.  The size and shape of a grassed waterway is based on the amount of runoff that the waterway must carry, the slope of the proposed waterway, and the underlying soil type.


Nutrient management plans: develop a plan for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that considers the crop requirements and all potential sources of nutrients.  Takes into consideration the 4Rs of nutrient management, right source, right rate, right time and right place.


Water and Sediment Control Basin (WASCOB): WASCOBs are a series of small embankments across concentrated flow paths on cropland that store then slowly release runoff through an underground outlet.  As sediment laden runoff enters the basin, it is stored, and sediment is settled out.  The inlets that meter the water out are typically a plastic perforated standpipe about 4 feet high.  The embankments themselves can be designed to be farmed.


Streambank Stabilization: Treatment used to stabilize and protect banks of streams or constructed channels. Streambank stabilization is used to reduce the downstream effects of sediment resulting from bank erosion. The following methods will be considered:


Method – 2-stage Ditches: Two-stage ditches are drainage ditches that have been modified by adding benches that serve as floodplains within the overall channel. This form is more consistent with fluvial form and process, and therefore leads to greater channel stability.  These benches mimic a natural floodplain zone or wetland. During high flows caused by storms or runoff, constructed floodplains allow the water to spread out and slow down, leading to greater channel stability. The two-stage ditch is a viable management practice because it takes little land out of production, especially when grass buffer strips are already present. Also, once constructed, the two-stage ditch requires reduced maintenance compared to conventional trapezoidal channels. It is therefore a practice that easily co-exists with productive agriculture. Having the vegetated benches to reduce the velocity of high flows means that a much greater proportion of sediments, and the nutrients attached to them, are likely to be retained in the watershed rather than be flushed out to cause problems downstream.

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