Polk County is excited to begin the process of creating a Master Plan for Mud, Camp, and Spring Creek Watersheds. It is anticipated that this planning project will take approximately six months to complete. During this time, the consultant team will work collaboratively with the Mud, Camp, and Spring Creek Watersheds Management Authority (“WMA”), the Polk Soil & Water Conservation District, County staff, and an Advisory Committee consisting of key members of these groups.

This website is meant to facilitate online engagement between the many stakeholders and community members impacted by these watersheds. Please click through the tabs to learn more about the planning process, including goals, project schedule, and plan elements.

List of activities you can explore:

  1. Get to know your watershed
  2. Engagement activities

We want to hear from you!

You can participate in the engagement activities, or submit any general comments or questions using the below links.

Get to know your watershed!

General Info

Mud, Camp, and Spring Creek watersheds are located in Iowa and encompass approximately 101 square miles. The watersheds are situated mainly in Polk County, with small areas in Jasper, Warren, and Marion County.

The land use in the MCS is mostly Agricultural, with some urban areas including Altoona, Bondurant, Mitchellville, Pleasant Hill, and Runnells.

MCS Intro Map

Figure 1. MCS Creek Watersheds Introduction Map


The three creeks of Mud, Spring, and Camp run parallel to one another and drain into the Des Moines River, which flows into the Mississippi River. The watersheds are approximately 14 miles long at the longest part and 8.8 miles wide at the widest part.

Mud, Camp, and Spring Creeks are broken up into a stream order system (Figure 2) using stream size to rank portions of a stream from smallest (first order) to largest (twelfth order). As shown on the map, the largest stream order in the watersheds is a third-order stream.

Dams, lakes, and stream types are also shown in Figure 3. Type one streams represent perennial streams, whereas type two streams represent intermittent streams.

MCS Hydrology1

Figure2. MCS Creek Watersheds Stream Order Map

MCS Hydrology2

Figure 3. MCS Creek Watersheds Hydrology Map

Trails and Transportation

You can explore the existing trails and street systems within the watershed using Figure 4. The majority of existing trails are located within the cities of Altoona and Bondurant.

Figure 4. MCS Creek Watersheds Trails & Transportation Map

Figure 4. MCS Creek Watersheds Trails & Transportation Map

Parks and Green Spaces

When planning for the greenway system in a community, locating the parks and open spaces can be important to improve the overall experience of the residents. Green spaces can be connected by a system of trails and turn into regional destinations that can provide opportunities for recreation and water-based activities.

Tree canopies can also affect the process of decision-making for future trails by providing environmental benefits and casting shadows.

You can explore the green spaces and tree canopies located in the MCS Creek watershed using figures 5 and 6.

Figure 5. MCS Creek Watersheds Parks & Green Spaces Map

​Figure 6. MCS Creek Watersheds Tree Canopies Map

Figure 6. MCS Creek Watersheds Tree Canopy Map

Sensitive Areas

Identifying unique or sensitive environmental areas can support the decision-making process to locate future regional destinations and trail routing. Moreover, environmentally sensitive areas can affect the permitting and land acquisition processes in order to provide equitable and safe public access to the community assets.

You can use the following figures to explore general environmentally sensitive areas (Figure 7) and also the different types of wetlands (Figure 8) in MCS Creek Watersheds.

Do you know any sensitive or interesting environmental features in this area? We love to see them in the Community survey mapping activity!

​​Figure 7. MCS Creek Watersheds Environmentally Sensitive Areas  Map

Figure 7. MCS Creek Watersheds Environmentally Sensitive Areas Map

​​Figure 8. MCS Creek Watersheds Wetlands Map

Figure 8. MCS Creek Watersheds Wetlands Map