The Resource Enhancement and Protection grants for fiscal year 2012 were approved by the Natural Resource Commission during its October meeting.
REAP has a 22-year, $272 million funding history for parks, soil, water and habitat improvements, roadside prairies, historical development and conservation education.
The REAP Act has a formula that distributes funding to farmers, conservation organizations, educators, cities, counties, historians, and state projects. Funding comes from gaming revenues and sales of natural resource license plates. Legislators appropriated $15 Million in 2010 and $12 Million in 2011. Full funding of the REAP Act is $20 Million.
Private Cost-share Grants Awarded
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) — The proposed addition of 67.86 acres adjacent to Barkely State Forest is one of several parcels acquired by INHF to assist the Iowa DNR with the expansion and protection of the previously land locked, rugged and remote area. The proposed addition provides oak-hickory woodland, 1/4 mile of the perennial Elkhorn Creek and several buildings for DNR use. Grant amount: $354,000.
Reap City Parks and Open space Grants Awarded
Large Cities Category
Waterloo — This project includes the acquisition of eight parcels and two structures. Once acquired, improvements include the reclamation of a 1.43 acre rubble site and installation of gates for park management purposes. The area located west of Hwy. 218 will eventually become part of Black Hawk County's Hartman Reserve Nature Center. The portion to the east of Hwy. 218 will be part of the city's Sherwood Park Recreation Area. Black Hawk County. Grant amount: $193,400.
Iowa City — Meandering trail along riparian corridor of the Iowa River from Waterworks Prairie Park to Peninsula Park (and Thornberry Dog Park). The trail will provide access to trail users, including persons with disabilities. The project includes interpretive signs and benches. The 2,590 linear foot trail project links Iowa City, Coralville and the University of Iowa campus to these incredible natural areas. Johnson County. Grant amount: $200,000.
Dubuque — The proposal is to acquire approximately 52 acres of land west of the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center and the Mines of Spain to expand the state park boundaries. Expansion of the park is an objective in the City's Comprehensive Plan and the Mines of Spain Master Plan. Dubuque County. Grant amount: $200,000.
Cedar Rapids — A portion of the Sac & Fox Recreational Trail, part of the Linn County Trails network, has experienced frequent closures in recent years due to flood events on Indian Creek. Currently approximately 1 mile of the trail is going to be excavated as part of a major metro-area sewer project. This construction presents an opportunity to relocate the segment to higher ground that is less vulnerable to flooding. Linn County. Grant amount: $173,530.
Medium Cities Category
Waverly — This project would restore the former AMVETS site, adjacent property and associated riverbank to a natural setting. This involves 3.75 acres and 1,175 feet of riverbank along the Cedar River. Concrete rubble has been dumped in the area over the years, making the riverbank unsightly and unusable. This project would remove the concrete rubble, shape and bench the embankment, protect erodible soils with rip-rap and vegetative plantings, and restore native plants to the floodplain. Bremer County. Grant amount: $100,000.
Johnston — The Beaver Creek Natural Resource Area is 156 acres of city owned land along Beaver Creek. This project will enhance the existing hard surface trails in the area by adding interpretive signs, benches and scenic views to give park visitors more opportunities to enjoy this passive recreation jewel. Interpretive signs will include information on history, geology, wildlife, birds and plants. Polk County. Grant amount: $25,000.
Bondurant — This request is for the Bondurant to Des Moines CVT Trail, the most urgent missing link in the metropolitan's trail system. The Bondurant to Des Moines trail will link other existing and planned regional trails such as Des Moines' and Ankeny's Gay Lea Wilson, the Ankeny to Neal Smith and the High Trestle Trails. The trail will effectively serve the needs of recreation enthusiasts who enjoy bicycling, rollerblading, walking, jogging and nature viewing. Polk County. Grant amount: $75,000.
Bellevue — Construction of a 1460-foot hard surface multi-use recreational trail along 399th Ave. This trail section will be constructed as part of a street paving project by the cCity of Bellevue along 399th Ave. which the city will annex. The trail section will begin at N. Motte St and extend to Hwy. 52. Future plans include extending the trail along Hwy. 52 approximately 1.5 miles to Spruce Creek Park. Upon completion of this trail section the city will request designation from the Mississippi River Trail Commission to designate this trail as the Mississippi River Trail System. Jackson County. Grant amount: $75,000.
Waukee — The proposed project involves the remaining two segments of the Heart of the Warrior Trail that will unify the Waukee community and provide a continuous trail through the core of the established neighborhoods in Waukee. The two segments identified in this grant application comprise 3,015 lineal feet of the total 9,549 lineal foot Heart of the Warrior Trail. The project will create a link between the eastern and western portions of the Waukee community. Dallas County. Grant amount: $125,000.
Spencer — The Deerfield Park Enhancement Project Phase I is the initial development of a five-acre neighborhood park in northwest Spencer. The park will provide an intra-park trail for the new park area. Clay County. Grant amount: $125,000.
Albia — The city of Albia owns and maintains the 160-acre multiple use Albia City Reservoir Park. REAP funds from the 2010 grant cycle were used to purchase the existing privately owned access road (Phase 2). The purpose of the Phase 3 of the Albia Reservoir Development and Improvement Project is to improve use of the area through infrastructure enhancements including the addition of a boat ramp and permanent restroom facilities where none are currently available. Monroe County. Grant amount: $38,780.
Perry — This project is approximately 2,200 feet of new PCC trail and will replace portions of deteriorated sidewalk. The project provides a connection from the Dallas County Hospital to the Raccoon River Valley Trail System. The project will be constructed within the existing right of way. Dallas County. Grant amount: $100,000.
Small Cities Category
Fayette — The city of Fayette and Upper Iowa University will partner in the construction of a 2.5-mile concrete multi-use recreation trail connecting Fayette with the Volga River Recreation Area in northeast Iowa. This scenic 10 feet wide trail will provide learning opportunities for natural resource based education for users who follow its path through a restored hickory and oak savanna, a re-established native prairie and alongside an unspoiled native prairie remnant. Fayette County. Grant amount: $75,000.
Steamboat Rock — The city proposes to acquire a 15 acre property in the Iowa River Greenbelt and designate it as Old Mill Park and is located along the Iowa River within the city limits of Steamboat Rock. The property contains seven acres of mature riparian woodland, eight acres of agriculture and a portion of a Iowa River state designated water trail portage. This project will transition the land to public open space for recreation and conservation. Hardin County. Grant amount: $50,000.
Marquette — This project will develop land surrounding the Wetland Interpretive and Learning Center in Marquette near the Mississippi River, including development of a constructed wetland with native vegetative plantings and observation deck, lighting, a sidewalk/trail around the facility, landscaping and kiosks. The project includes a bioswale with check dams that will handle the storm water runoff from the parking area and a roof water drop structure that will be incorporated into the Wetland Interpretive Center's roof to capture water and redirect it to the constructed wetland. Clayton County. Grant amount: $50,000.
Columbus Junction — The city of Columbus Junction would like to acquire properties that have experienced frequent flood damage from Monkey Run Creek. These properties will be cleared and turned into a unique park setting, implementing conservation and restoration practices to help manage the Monkey Run Creek watershed, along with passive recreation opportunities and environmental education through interpretive signs. Louisa County. Grant amount: $75,000.
Keosauqua — The one-mile long Riverfront Trail will connect existing Keosauqua trails with a Trail Plaza and Lacey Keosauqua State Park. Half the trail is along the Des Moines River and half is through a timbered area. The trail passes along the historic Manning Hotel, an access to the Van Buren County Water Trail, the city park, the senior center, an ice cream shop, city ball fields, hospital and a community center. Van Buren County. Grant amount: $75,000
REAP Count Conservation Grants Awarded
Johnson County — The Johnson County Conservation Board proposes to acquire an 80.97 acre tract from the INHF. The topography ranges from rolling xeric upland to wetland depressions. The most unique feature is a 1 1/2 acre pond that contains a nutrient-poor fen of approximately 3/8 acre in size, which includes a floating mat of vegetation. This is one of only two nutrient-poor fens left in Iowa. Numerous Rare and Special Concern species grow on the site. Grant amount: $172,145.25.
Jones County — This project is for the acquisition of 45.5 acres adjacent to an existing 34-acre native prairie. The project includes high quality and diverse prairie remnants, open grassland with native prairie soils still intact, forest groves, outcrops of bedrock in upland locations, scattered trees and hydric to xeric soil regimes. Grant amount: $140,500.
Dickinson County — Dickinson County Conservation Board is working to acquire an 80-acre quality prairie remnant that is adjacent to the existing Judd Wildlife Area. The property is composed of remnant prairie, two fens and is a tributary of the Little Sioux River. It will be managed for its ecological resources. Grant amount: $31,000.
Pottawattamie County — This project proposes to add 26.1 acres to Hitchcock Nature Center (HNC) in Pottawattamie County. The addition features remnant bur oak woodland and savanna and degraded pastures. The property will expand protection and restoration of important natural areas in the Loess Hills, will increase outdoor recreation opportunities at HNC, protect a remnant of the original Old Lincoln Highway and secure the site of the raptor banding station. Grant amount: $67,500.
Black Hawk County — Fisher Forest is 87.5 acres of high quality riparian habitat located in the northwest corner of Black Hawk County. This site will be an addition to the West Fork Management Unit totaling 450 acres of a block of habitat. The site will be open for public use including hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking and boating. Grant amount: $20,000.
Poweshiek County — The Poweshiek County Conservation Board would like to acquire 13.6 acres of land adjacent to Diamond Lake Park. The Conservation Board needs to acquire this parcel to protect the lake from future private lake front development and protect the water quality for recreation and drinking (Diamond Lake is the reservoir for the city of Montezuma). Grant amount: $44,600.
Linn County — The Linn County Conservation Board (LLBC) is requesting REAP funds to leverage with other private funds to create new educational and interpretive exhibits in the expanded Wickiup Hill Learning Center. The Learning Center is being expanded by adding approximately 4,000 square feet of new exhibit and interactive learning space together with about 6,000 square feet for a community (tornado) safe room, administrative offices, restrooms and storage area. The LCCB has contracted with Taylor Studios, a professional exhibit design firm, to do the design and installation of the new exhibits. Grant amount. $81,000.
Wapello County —– This project involves the acquisition of 205 acres of rolling oak/hickory timber with interspersed grass openings. This property adjoins Pioneer Ridge Nature Area whose management focuses on timber, savanna and prairie restoration. Grant amount: $112,100.
Clayton County — This project will reconstruct the historic Motor Mill Bridge that once spanned the Turkey River at Motor Mill Park. This bridge, which was lost to flooding in 2008, is a vital component of the 155-acre Motor Mill Park, connecting historic mill structures, restored natural areas, including oak savanna, forest and prairie, an algific talus slope, camping, multi-use land trails and the Turkey River Water Trail. The bridge will greatly improve access to Motor Mill Park from Elkader reducing visitors' travel time as well as their travel on gravel. This project is a significant component of the Turkey River Recreational Corridor's Iowa Great Places Plan and is important to county and regional economic development. Grant amount: $462,869.75.
MEDIA CONTACT: Tammy Krausman, REAP Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-281-8382.