Our Story

Established in 1996, the Foundation’s original name was the Conservation Foundation for Polk County.  Its original purpose was to receive financial contributions to help local government agencies acquire interest in properties for conservation purposes.  Since that time, the Foundation’s role has grown tremendously.

Natural resources and outdoor recreation in the greater metro area play a critical role in maintaining our quality of life.  Our trails network, parks, and greenways attract people to the community, while providing easy access to all for healthy living through walking, cycling, bird watching, paddling, playing, and more.

Without restored landscapes and improved habitat for both people and wildlife, we continue to place our water resources at great risk for pollution and flooding.  If the  public is not well-educated in conservation issues, our expenses to reduce waste, improve air quality, and fight the impacts of global warming will continue to skyrocket.

Now is the time to invest to protect our natural habitats and improve our quality of life by supporting The Great Outdoors Foundation!

What We Do

Mission Statement: The Great Outdoors Foundation’s mission is to provide high quality, healthy living for Greater Polk County through expanded open space, restored landscapes, greater recreation and outdoor education opportunities.

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