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REAP public participation
What can REAP do for you?

REAP is special to Iowa --- and its many public involvement opportunities are some of the reasons that it is.There are several opportunities available to Iowans that assist in making the program all that it can be.

Iowa's REAP program is unlike other similar efforts throughout the country in that it provides many opportunities for people to get involved. Whether that includes becoming a member of your County REAP Committee or just chatting with friends and neighbors about the importance of REAP, there are places in REAP's public participation elements for you to make a difference. 

The 2019 Regional Assemblies will be held across Iowa in late November and early December. Please join us!

2019 REAP Assembly Schedule with map

There are many ways to become a public participant in REAP which include:

  • Buying a Natural Resource License Plate
  • Being active on a County REAP Committee
  • Attending REAP Assemblies
  • Becoming a REAP Delegate
  • Becoming involved in outdoor recreation or conservation organizations
  • Talking to others about REAP

Every interaction with REAP and it's message is vital to sustaining the program.

Becoming a member of your county committee is a great way to introduce yourself to REAP and all the benefits that the program offers for your county. making the program all that it can be. The law says that REAP county committee members generally are to be members of some county organization which include:

  • The chair of the county board of supervisors, or its designee
  • The chair of the county conservation board, or its designee
  • The chair of the county soil and water district, or its designee
  • The chair of a school board, or its designee
  • The mayor of each city in the county, or its designee
  • Head or designee member of a recognized county farm or farm commodity group
  • The chair or designee member of any recognized wildlife, conservation, environmental, recreation, conservation education, historical-cultural, nonpartisan governmental research group, study group of the League of Women Voters that has a county organization.
  • A historic preservation commission or similar entity established by a county or city in the county.
  • A private organization that provides recognition and protection for historic buildings, structures, sites, and districts in a county or a city.
  • A historic museum or organization that maintains a collection of documents relating to the history of a county or a city.

Despite this law, anyone of the public can and should be encouraged to attend and participate in the meetings.

You can make the plan as simple as your committee wants, or it can be quite detailed. It just depends on your group, but it's a good idea to start simple. At a minimum, the plan should contain:

  1. List of the county committee members and the officers
  2. A list by the following groups on: what they would like to accomplish with REAP funding in the next five years:
    • County conservation board
    • Soil and water conservation district
    • Cities
    • Historical groups
    • Conservation and wildlife groups
    • Roadside vegetation management
    • DNR state parks, forestry, wildlife areas
    • Conservation education
  3. A list of those same groups on: approximately how much REAP money they have to spend in the coming year and on what projects will the money be spent.
  4. A list of the county committee's top priority projects.
  5. If the county board of supervisors is not represented on the county REAP committee, a copy of the plan should be sent to them, for their information.
  6. You can add more to the plan if it is relevant and important to the members of the committee

Once the above is completed, make sure your newspaper gets a copy, then please email a copy of the 5-year plan and 1-year expense plan to the REAP Coordinator. Examples:

  • Dubuque County Plan
  • Polk County Plan
  • REAP provides money for projects in the form of grants. A summary of grant opportunities are listed below. Please view the links for more information. City Parks and Open Space This money is available to cities through competitive grants. Parkland expansion and multi-purpose recreation developments are typical projects funded under this REAP program. Get more information about City Parks and Open Space grants. County Conservation This money is available to counties, only if they are dedicating at least 22¢ per $1,000 of the assessed value of taxable property in the county for county conservation purposes, through competitive grants. This money is available to counties for land easements or acquisition, capital improvements, stabilization and protection of resources, and environmental education, etc. Get more information about County Conservation grants. Private/Public Open Space Acquisition This money is available for cost-share land acquisitions with private organizations. The cost-share arrangement entails 75% of the acquisition costs coming from REAP and the other 25% coming from private contributions. The DNR owns and manages the property that is jointly purchased. Get more information about Private/Public Open Space grants. Conservation Education Program (CEP) This money is available to grantees for programs that teach people of all ages about their environment and how to make intelligent, informed decisions about its well-being. $350,000 is available for this program. Get more information about CEP grants. Historical Resource Development Program Grants are available to private individuals and businesses, as well as to non-profit organizations and agencies of Certified Local Governments. Grants under this program support a wide variety of projects that fall under three basic categories: (1) historic preservation; (2) library and archives; and (3) museums. This program has proven to be very popular throughout Iowa and truly demonstrates the diversity of REAP. Get more information about Historical grants. Roadside Vegetation This money is available for state, county, and city management of roadside vegetation. The establishment of attractive gateways into cities is also becoming a popular use for this money. The purchase of specialized equipment and seed to carry out management practices is also a part of this program. Get more information about Roadside Vegetation grants. Soil and Water Enhancement These funds are available to landowners for soil and water conservation and enhancement projects and practices. Project money is directed towards protecting the state's surface and ground water resources from point and non-point sources of contamination. Practices money is directed towards reforestation, woodland protection and enhancement, wildlife habitat preservation and enhancement, protection of highly erodible soils, and water quality protection. Get more information about Soil and Water Enhancement grants.

REAP Assemblies are locally led public meetings at which information is given out and ideas are taken in by the attending state officials. The REAP law requires the following things happen at each assembly:

  • The DNR provides those attending with information regarding REAP expenditures. The overall REAP budget is presented and projects in the region are listed that have been funded with REAP dollars.
  • People attending the assemblies shall identify opportunities for regional REAP projects. Examples that have frequently come up are trails, river corridor protection, wetland restoration, soil erosion prevention, conservation education, and resource inventories.
  • People attending the assemblies shall also review and recommend changes to REAP policies, programs, and funding. This is the portion of the meeting that people speak out on anything they want regarding the inner workings of REAP.
  • And last but not least, the people at the assemblies are responsible for electing five individuals to serve on the REAP Congress. In addition to the five delegates, 3-5 other people are elected as alternates to the delegates. In the event that one of the delegates cannot attend the Congress, an alternate fills that spot.

REAP Regional Assemblies 2017 During the October 2017 assemblies, 18 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Assemblies were conducted throughout Iowa. The REAP Assemblies are required, per Iowa Code Chapter 455A.17, to be conducted on odd numbered years to provide attendees with information about REAP expenditures, ask attendees to identify opportunities or changes in policy, programs or funding, vote on motions for the five elected delegates per region to vote on at REAP Congress. 555 Iowans participated in the 2017 REAP Assemblies. In addition to electing delegates, the participants made 63 motions that were forwarded to the REAP Congress which was held on January 6, 2018.

pocket park in Granger, Iowa, made possible by REAP efforts
This pocket park in Granger, Iowa, was made possible by REAP efforts.

REAP Coordinator

Contact person:
Tammie Krausman, REAP Coordinator
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Wallace State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319

phone: 515-402-8763