Iowans who need financial help to get a community cleanup project off the ground can apply now for state funding. D-O-T planner Kathy Ridnour says “Keep Iowa Beautiful” grants are available for virtually any private or public group that wants to take better care of our state’s natural resources.The grants are based on the anticipated longterm effectiveness of a project to clean up or prevent litter, improve waste management or recycling efforts, beautify a site, prevent illegal dumping or eliminate public nuisances. Ridnour says this is the second year for the program, which last year funded ten major projects statewide. Last year, the first year as a check off on Iowa Tax returns, the Keep Iowa Beautiful program was able to award more than 56-thousand dollars and Ridnour says this year should bring about the same amount, perhaps more. She says projects are funded on a grant basis and no matching funds are required. Communities that won grants last year include: Marshalltown, Scott County, Greenfield, Louisa County, Burlington, Guttenberg, Osceola and Des Moines. The application deadline is December 31st. For more information, surf to “”.