A west central Iowa farm, famous for hosting a Soviet Premier in 1959, could one day be home to camp sites and bike trails. The Vision Iowa Board is considering a tourism grant for the project at the former Garst family farm in Coon Rapids.
Vision Iowa Board Chairman Andy Anderson says the Garst family is donating the land to a non-profit organization, that will turn it into a park. Nikita Khrushchev paid a visit to the Garst farm at the height of the Cold War. The farm and surrounding lands cover over 5,000 acres, making it one of the largest land donations ever in the midwest.
"It’s a huge potential private gift," Anderson says, "that we can couple with a public investment and make into a wonderful destination park." A project in Des Moines is another potential recipient for a Community Attraction and Tourism grant. Anderson says the grant would help the World Food Prize relocate it’s headquarters into the former central library in downtown Des Moines.
The building is over 100 years old and would require renovations to make it usable as office space. Anderson says officials with the World Food Prize have not yet applied for a CAT grant, be they plan to do so.