Fonda, Iowa

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Fonda is a city in Pocahontas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 648 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Fonda is located at 42°34′58″N 94°50′45″W / 42.58278°N 94.84583°W / 42.58278; -94.84583 (42.582819, -94.845810)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²), all of it land.

The town is located at the western edge of the Des Moines Lobe, the most recently glaciated section of Iowa. The Des Moines Lobe is part of the prairie pothole region of the Midwest. The topography is irregular in its gently rolling terrain. Wetlands, glacial erratics, concentric bands of ridges, and large flat areas characterize the land surrounding Fonda.

In its natural state, the land is poorly drained, although humans have added an extensive network of tiles to move water from the potholes to local tributaries. The tiles surrounding Fonda empty into Big Cedar Creek, a tributary of the Raccoon River. This waterway, which underwent channelization in the early 1900s, flows past the town on its west end. Evidence of its winding original path still exists, particularly in the Fonda Golf Course and in the schoolyard behind Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church.

Four miles (6 km) northwest of town, Sunken Grove Wildlife Management Area (WMA) exists as a reminder of the past. Large undrained wetlands are surrounded by forests and prairies. The area is home to large populations of migrating birds and permanent populations of wildlife. This public parcel has recently expanded, and is adjacent to the Leo Shimon WMA. Together, the two areas comprise 1,148 acres (4.65 km2) of land. This is slightly less than two square miles.

The remainder of the area surrounding Fonda is agricultural. Vast corn and soybean fields are interspersed by acreages and hog confinements (also known as a concentrated animal feeding operation). The vitality of the town and of the region have been influenced by the shift from a sustenance way of farming to an industrial model. Fewer farmers, less diversity in agricultural products, more agrichemicals, and more tillage have upset the economic system of the town and surrounding countryside. Fonda's AgPartners elevator is partially owned by Cargill. Many of the hog confinements around town are owned by corporations, such as New Fashion Pork, based in Jackson, MN.

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