The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded the City of Dubuque a $140,790 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) grant for its Valentine Park Expansion Project.
The City will use the grant funds to purchase property for the expansion of Valentine Park, located at 860 Valentine Drive on the southwest side of Dubuque. The project involves acquisition of eight adjoining acres to expand Valentine Park to 19 acres. The park currently features a public restroom, softball field, hard surface play area, play equipment, picnic tables, grill, and bike/hike path. In July 2016, Dubuque City Council authorized the purchase of 730 Cody Drive from George and Dorothy Roepsch for expansion of Valentine Park. The purchase price is $171,000. The Valentine Park Expansion is also part of the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region’s “Mississippi Circuit.” The Region will be providing a $30,210 grant to complete the purchase. The Grant Wood Mississippi River Region is the pilot region for the State of Iowa and Iowa Parks Foundation’s Parks to People program. The goal of the Parks to People program is to employ public-private partnerships and local planning to connect citizens to nature and improve parks across the state.
REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect the Iowa’s natural and cultural resources. Fifteen percent of REAP is set aside for grants to cities for projects that help establish natural areas, encourage outdoor recreation and resource management.
In its 27 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting over 15,000 projects. REAP has funded these projects with $250 million in state investments, leveraging two to three times the amount in private, local, and federal dollars. Collectively, these projects have improved the quality of life for all Iowans with better soil and water quality; added outdoor recreation opportunities; sustained economic development; enhanced knowledge and understanding of our ecological and environmental assets, and preservation of our cultural and historic treasures.
REAP has benefitted the Dubuque area greatly over 27 years, and has provided funding for projects such as the EB Lyons Center Expansion, Mississippi Riverwalk Recreation Trail, Julien Dubuque Nature Trail, and the Iowa 32 Bike/Hike Trail.
For more information on REAP, visit http://www.iowadnr.gov/REAP.