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Congressional district dollars could be used to complete the Red Rock Prairie Trail extending through Jasper County into Polk County or create an Environmental Education Center to act as both a tourism attraction and as a welcome center for the area, provided conservation secures the right grants.

On April 13, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors signed letters of support for conservation to pursue grants from the Member Designated Projects and Community Project Funding, which have to be submitted to Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa’s Second District.

Jasper County Conservation Director Keri Van Zante explained to supervisors there are funds available for each of Iowa’s congressional districts. The Member Designated Projects uses transportation dollars, while the Community Project Funding uses appropriations money.

Van Zante and JEDCO Executive Director Jeff Davidson are working on applying for additional funding to finish Red Rock Prairie Trail, specifically the section of the path from Prairie City to Mitchellville. Conservation already owns the easement, which Davidson noted is a “key factor” in this grant process.

“Because these projects need to be ready to go,” Davidson said of the 16-mile trail. “This process is not for projects where you’re going to be years down the road. It’s for projects they want to see something happening, something going into the ground on a fairly short order.”


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