Today, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced $4.65 million in grant funding for the following three projects through Destination Iowa. The $100 million program, announced in April, invests in transformational attractions that will bolster the quality of life in Iowa communities, enhance tourism and attract new residents.
Black Hawk County Conservation and Linn County Conservation were jointly awarded $3,500,000 to pave 16 miles of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. This project would complete the original 52-mile trail, connecting the Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids metropolitan areas entirely by nature trail.
The City of Maquoketa and Jackson County Conservation were awarded $750,000 for improvements to the Prairie Creek Recreation Area, including the installation of a whitewater paddling course on the Maquoketa River, a championship-caliber disc golf course and ADA-accessible hiking trails.
The City of Colfax was awarded $400,000 for improvements to Quarry Springs Park, located off Interstate 80. Funding for the “Relax in Colfax” project will assist with the creation of a new 30-site RV campground, a modern shower house and bathrooms and an ADA-accessible dock.
IEDA began accepting applications on May 9 and will continue to review applications on a rolling basis through December 31, 2022 or until funding runs out. The first round of funding was announced in late June and included four awards totaling $16.5 million. Applications are scored based on eligibility, completeness, and the project’s ability to meet the program goal of creating transformational tourism attractions. Cities, counties, nonprofits and other organizations can apply for Destination Iowa grants through four separate funds: Economically Significant Development, Outdoor Recreation, Tourism Attraction, and Creative Placemaking.
Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. For more information on the Destination Iowa program, visit iowaeda.com/destination-iowa/. Funding for this program is being made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.