October brings a month-long series of assemblies across Iowa for REAP, or Resource Enhancement and Protection. Tammie Krausman, the REAP coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says they focus on issues like habitat, water quality and preservation of cultural heritage.
“REAP is one of the most popular conservation, natural resources and historic development programs in the state,” Krausman says. “One of the reasons it stays so relevant is because every few years, we get out and hold 18 meetings across the state to talk to Iowans about what they really want from those types of programs.” The assemblies cover a wide range of topics centered on outdoor recreation, soil and water enhancement, historical resources, land management and more.
“We get together in a room, we give a brief history of REAP so everyone is on the same page, and then we open it up for questions,” Krausman says. “We talk about all of the local things that have happened with REAP in that area. We ask people what they really want to see with these programs in the future.” Also at the meetings, delegates are elected to attend the REAP Congress. It will be held on January 6th in the House chambers of the Iowa State Capitol.
“All of the delegates who were elected at the individual REAP assemblies come together and we really hard-core debate REAP policy, natural resources policy, conservation, outdoor recreation,” Krausman says. “Then, we make those recommendations to the governor, to the general assembly and to the Natural Resources Commission.”
The assembly meetings run about 90 minutes. The first of the 18 assemblies is planned for Wednesday in Spencer, with another on Thursday in Lehigh. Other meetings will be held this month in: Ventura, Chariton, Maquoketa, Shenandoah, Iowa City, Burlington, Oskaloosa, Marshalltown, Calmar, Carroll, Afton, Neola, Waterloo, Correctionville, West Des Moines and Muscatine.
See the complete schedule at: www.iowareap.com