RELEASE: GREAT OUTDOORS FOUNDATION AWARDS FIRST MIDAMERICAN ENERGY REGIONAL FUND GRANT

DES MOINES, IA (March 22, 2022) – The Great Outdoors Foundation is pleased to announce that the MidAmerican Energy Regional Fund, a $5 million investment in ICON Water Trails, has awarded its first $125,000 grant to the City of Bondurant. The investment will be used to enhance Eagle Park, including adding access to Mud Creek, an amenity outlined in the original ICON, then Central Iowa Water Trails, feasibility study.

ICON’s 80+ improvements — across a dozen jurisdictions — represent a collaborative commitment to water safety and conservation. Its network of amenities provides residents and visitors alike access to Iowa’s waterways, enhancing quality of life and supporting workforce and tourism attraction efforts. Participating partners, including cities, counties and other nonprofits, have the opportunity to request capital from the MidAmerican Regional Fund on a semi-annual basis.

“The MidAmerican Energy Regional Fund will not only help to preserve our natural resources, but will also create tremendous value for participating jurisdictions,” Kathryn Kunert, Vice President of Economic Connections and Integration for MidAmerican Energy, said. “We at MidAmerican are thrilled to see the initiative’s impact not just on Des Moines, but throughout all of Central Iowa.”

“Bondurant is honored to be the first awardee of the MidAmerican Regional Grant for the Eagle Park project,” Doug Elrod, Mayor of the City of Bondurant, said. “This project will enhance the quality of life for Bondurant residents and be a regional asset for parks users for decades.”

Along with adding access to Mud Creek, the improvements at the new ICON site in Bondurant include the installation of

  • Stormwater treatment cells
  • Solar-powered charging benches
  • Native plantings and butterfly garden
  • Limestone walking trails
  • Additional Trees
  • Wayfinding/interpretive signage

“MidAmerican Energy’s gift embodies the regional spirit of this project,” Hannah Inman, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Outdoors Foundation, said. “Investments in ICON will further demonstrate the ability of outdoor recreation to act as a catalyst for conservation, safety and workforce and tourism attraction.”

“This fund allows us to expedite investments in infrastructure outlined in our original feasibility study,” Maggie McClelland, Director of ICON Water Trails, said. “We’re eager to see this complex system begin to make waves across our region.”

Applicants for the MidAmerican Regional Fund are assessed by ICON’s primary objectives of environmental conservation, safety, economic development, workforce and tourism attraction and access to outdoor recreation. The Investment Selection Committee, charged with identifying the award recipient, designated the funds to Bondurant based on the site’s comprehensive design that supports many of ICON’s goals.

“The water trails offer another reason to live, work and play in Bondurant,” Angela McKenzie, Councilmember for the City of Bondurant and ICON Water Trails Board Member, said. “As a councilmember of Bondurant, I’m thankful for the grant and excited to see what ICON can do in Eastern Polk County.”

Applications for the next round of grants will open up in the fall for ICON’s jurisdictional partners.

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About Great Outdoors Foundation

The Great Outdoors Foundation is a non-profit that provides funding for outdoor recreation and conservation projects in Central Iowa. The Great Outdoors Foundation is Central Iowa’s pathway to sustainable, healthy environments.  We are a regional conservation leader and catalyst for high-impact, environmental projects. We convene partners with a shared vision, drive collaboration and raise awareness and funds. Driven by our clear purpose, we challenge ourselves to seek and take on partner projects offering exceptional and long-term impact requiring a regional approach and creative funding.

About ICON Water Trails

Iowa Confluence Water Trails — ICON, for short — will connect 80+ improvements across 150 miles of rivers and creeks in Central Iowa. Initiated by the Central Iowa Water Trails Consortium, including Capital Crossroads, Catch Des Moines, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines Area MPO, Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Great Outdoors Foundation, ICON represents a new commitment to water safety and conservation as well as a concerted effort to drive economic development, visitor attraction and workforce retention.

 

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