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Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) assemblies begin tomorrow, giving all Iowans an opportunity to share and discuss their visions for Iowa’s outdoor recreation, soil and water enhancement, historical resources and land management and more.
REAP assemblies begin Sept. 13, in Marshalltown, at 11 a.m., at the Grimes Farm and Conservation Center, 2349 233rd Street, for Iowans in Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama counties.
The Marshalltown assembly will be followed by assemblies in Ottumwa and Shenandoah.
The remaining REAP assemblies will take place in October. A list of REAP assembly locations is available online at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/REAP/REAP-Public-Participation.
REAP assemblies are locally led meetings where issues can be brought forth and voted upon. Iowans can discuss the program, recommend changes and discuss impacts in their area. Delegates may also be selected from the local meeting to attend the 2024 REAP congress in January at the State Capitol in Des Moines.
Each assembly represents a region of counties and participants are required to attend the region for the county in which they reside. Meetings last approximately 90 minutes.
“REAP assemblies provide Iowans a perfect opportunity to share their views and learn others’ views about parks, trails, museums and other amenities,” said Michelle Wilson, coordinator for REAP with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “It’s critical that community members are engaged in these meetings to help shape the future of and enhance recreational opportunities in our state for the future.”
Each year, REAP provides funding for local projects through a grant process and each year, the requests for city and county grants exceed the amount available by two or three times. Since the program debuted in 1989, nearly $389 million has been awarded to projects for cities, county and state parks, water quality, habitat improvements, roadside prairies, historical development and conservation education.
“REAP benefits every single county, every year, in one way or another, either through improved water quality, by preserving our historical assets or providing outdoor recreation opportunities,” Wilson said. “REAP significantly impacts the quality of life of all Iowans.”