Iowans can play a role in helping shape the future of the state’s conservation and outdoor recreation activities. Tammie Krausman, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says a series of assembly meetings will start next week that are devoted to the program called REAP, for Resource Enhancement and Protection.

Krausman says, “The REAP assemblies are 18 public meetings where we want to get out and talk to Iowans about the impact REAP has made locally.” She says money for REAP has been put to good use throughout the two-dozen years the program has been around. “It’s actually been about $320-million worth of projects,” Krausman says. “The projects are really about developing parks and trails all over the state, improving habitat and water quality and increasing outdoor recreation opportunities, as well as preserving our cultural heritage.”

REAP has actually had an economic impact in every single county in the state.” Krausman explains what takes place during the various assemblies across the state. “We talk about some of the things REAP has done locally,” Krausman says. “We also talk about goals people have for conservation, outdoor recreation, historic preservation. We also talk about what REAP has done in the last 24 years and we talk about what we would like to see done in the next 25 years.”

Five people will be elected at each of the 18 meetings to attend the REAP Congress held in Des Moines in January. The event takes place in the Iowa House chambers. Statewide issues are discussed and compiled in a report that’s sent to the governor and legislators. The first REAP assembly will be held in Cedar Falls on October 1st. More meetings follow into mid-November in the following cities: Afton, Burlington, Calmar, Coralville, Carroll, Correctionville, Council Bluffs, Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Lovilia, Maquoketa, Mason City, Marshalltown, Muscatine, Spencer, Shenandoah and West Des Moines.

For a full schedule, visit: www.iowadnr.gov/REAP

(Reporting by, Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)