The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded a grant of $90,500 from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program. This is the 12th REAP grant Iowa City Parks and Recreation has recently received.
REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect Iowa’s natural and cultural resources. In the program, 15% of REAP is set aside for grants to cities, while 20% is set aside for county conservation boards for projects that help establish natural areas, and encouraging outdoor recreation and resource management.
The grant funds will be used for ecological restoration and enhancement of the 17 acres of Whispering Meadows Wetland Park. This will benefit the community by improving the recreational green space within walking distance of many Iowa City residents. The project will follow recommendations of the 2017 Iowa City Natural Areas Inventory and Management Plan, which is expected to make the park more attractive to visitors, as well as increase its future educational value.
In its 31 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting over 16,500 projects. REAP has funded these projects with nearly $320 million in state investments, leveraging two to three times the amount in private, local, and federal dollars. Collectively, these projects have improved the quality of life for all Iowans with improved soil and water quality; added outdoor recreation opportunities; sustained economic development; enhanced knowledge and understanding of our ecological and environmental assets, and preservation of our cultural and historic treasures.
REAP has benefited the Iowa City area greatly over 31 years with over $1,777,900 being poured into projects that help benefit the community. The most recent REAP grant awards were used at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area and Hickory Hill Park, where funds were used to improve natural areas at both locations. More information about REAP grant projects can be found online.
For more information, contact Juli Seydell Johnson, Iowa City Parks and Recreation Director, at 319-356-5104.