Jasper County Conservation Awarded Destination Iowa Funds

10 Mar 2023

news, rural

In the final round of grant funding from Destination Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded $550,000 to the Jasper County Conservation Environmental Education Center.

Destination Iowa, a $100 million investment in quality of life and tourism attractions, opened in May 2022 and accepted applications through December 31. The final funding round provided $26.88 million in grant funding, including an additional investment of $15 million to fund Destination Iowa applications from rural communities that did not receive grants in previous rounds. Applications were scored based on eligibility, completeness, and the project’s ability to meet the program goal of creating transformational tourism attractions. For the program, rural communities were defined as communities with 30,000 or fewer residents that are not adjacent to communities of 30,000 or more residents. Jasper County Conservation’s award is part of the additional $15 million designated for rural communities.

The Jasper County Conservation Environmental Education Center has been years in the making. The 7,200-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is to be located on 40 acres of land. The center will feature a display area, laboratory, classrooms, and an outdoor viewing platform. The center will use photovoltaic cells, passive solar energy, geothermal, and a living roof to promote sustainable building design. It will provide public conservation education, outdoor learning experiences, and space for staff use.

Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. Funding for this program has been made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. 

Click here to see a list of the other projects funded in the final round of Destination Iowa.

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