(DES MOINES) The Resource Enhancement and Protection grants for fiscal year 2012 were approved by the Natural Resource Commission during its October meeting.
A REAP County Conservation Grant was awarded in Pottawattamie County. This project proposes to add 26.1 acres to Hitchcock Nature Center. 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, will protect a remnant of the original Old Lincoln Highway and will secure the site of the raptor banding station. The grant amount was $67,500.
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.