The state Natural Resources Committee has approved this year’s Resource Enhancement and Protection grants. Ross Harrison of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the program is funded by gambling revenue, and the natural resources license plates.
Harrison says 19 cities were given almost two-million dollars for outdoor recreation and resources projects. Harrison says the grants for the cities usually involve improving trails and recreation areas. He says some of the city grants can get up to 300-thousand dollars and the grants are handed out based on the size of the community. Harrison says the grants for smaller communities range from 75 up to almost 100-thousand dollars. Five counties also won grants — which are much larger than the city grants.
Harrison says the counties use the grants mainly to purchase land for public recreation and to protect sensitive ground. He says the REAP program pays property taxes on the land so there’s no loss of revenue when the land goes from private to public. Harrison says the REAP program had 11-million dollars in funding this year and says that wasn’t enough to give everyone a grant.
Harrison says the program is very popular and competitive, as it doesn’t require any matching funds. He says they typically have two to three times the request for grants than the money they have available.
Cities approved for grants include: Ankeny, Mason City, Council Bluffs, Cedar Falls, West Des Moines, Centerville, Story City, Clear Lake, Creston, Cresco, Madrid, Nevada, Allison, Shell Rock, Lake View, Robins, Calmar, Slater, Guttenberg. The county grants are to Jones County for 326-thousand dollars for the Whitewater Canyon Acquisition of nearly 141 acres; Dallas County for 213-thousand for the Big Bend Wildlife Area Acquisition; Marshall County for 200-thousand dollars for the Iowa River Wildlife Management Area Acquisition of 330 acres along the Iowa River; Pottawattmie County for 135-thousand-800 dollars for the Central Loess Hills Restoration Initiative; Dallas County for 19-thousand dollars for the Big Bend Wildlife Area Acquisition of 20 acres of forest land.
To see the complete details of the grants, surf to www.iowadnr.com.
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