The board of the Environmental Project has narrowed down the list towns that may be the a site for a proposed Iowa Rain Forest. Executive Director David Oman says they met at the Amana Colonies Wednesday. Oman says the site committee appointed by former governor Robert Ray had already reduced a list of 16 towns down to seven, and now has “the Final Four, if you will,” he says, the towns of Grinnell, Pella, Tiffin and Riverside.

The rain forest project has been the target of criticism and even ridicule, but Oman says there are still plenty of local officials willing to consider having it built in their area. He says what’s important to the communities pursuing the project is not just that they see merit in it, but they know that having a large “destination attraction” could bring in a lot of people and money, according to Oman.

Oman says each of the four finalists had assets they found attractive. “A wonderful site, a lot of acres, a lot of space, beautiful location and good educational resources around it,” Oman says. He says the board hopes to make a final decision sometime in the middle of May.