Resource Enhancement and Protection

REAP stands for Resource Enhancement and Protection. It is a program in the State of Iowa that invests in, as its name implies, the enhancement and protection of the state's natural and cultural resources. Iowa is blessed with a diverse array of natural and cultural resources, and REAP is likewise diverse and far reaching. Depending on the individual programs, REAP provides money for projects through state agency budgets or in the form of grants. Several aspects of REAP also encourage private contributions that help accomplish program objectives.

REAP is funded from the state's Environment First Fund (Iowa gaming receipts) and from the sale of the natural resource license plate. The program is authorized to receive $20 million per year until 2021, but the state legislature sets the amount of REAP funding every year. This year REAP was appropriated $16 million. When you add license plate and interest income, its total budget is about $16.5 million.

REAP funds go into eight different programs based upon a percentages that are specified in the law. These percentages, or what many people call the REAP formula, are shown in the following pie chart.

REAP Fund Allocation
First $350,000 each year goes to Conservation Education
1% of balance goes for DNR Administration
The remaining balance is then divided per the pie chart below:

  1. Roadside Vegetation 3%
  2. Historical Resources5%
  3. Public Land Management 9%
  4. City Parks and Open Space 15%
  5. Soil and Water Enhancement 20%
  6. County Conservation20%
  7. State Open Space 28%
The following four state agencies administer REAP programs:
  1. Department of Natural Resources
  2. Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation
  3. Department of Cultural Affairs, State Historical Society
  4. Department of Transportation


Celebrating 25 Years of Resource Enhancement and Protection:

In its 25 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting more than 14,535 projects. REAP has funded these projects with over $300 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 better 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. 

Throughout 2015 we highlighted 25 stories showcasing REAP successes.  These stories are available on a special 25th Anniversary website: