By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
New exhibits at the Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center are moving along smoothly thanks to a $105,000 grant from Alliance Pipeline.
The money will go toward the nature gallery that will feature several interactive displays.
“We are really excited for this grant,” Executive Director of Clinton County Conservation Walt Wickham said. “This will certainly make a difference in getting our nature gallery.”
Alliance Pipeline will be presenting a check in the amount of $35,000 to the Clinton County Conservation Foundation today at the Eco Tourism Center.
This is the first of three installments over three years of a $105,000 pledge to the center.
“Alliance Pipeline covers Clinton County and we work hard to be a good neighbor,” Senior Communications Advisor Rob Gray said.
The company that has a branch in Maquoketa and is headquartered out of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, gives out $1.8 million a year in grants to its 150 communities covering three provinces in Canada and four states in the U.S.
This money is distributed to safety, energy education, leadership, environment and community development.
“It was a good fit with our environment focus,” Gray said. “It’s an exciting way to promote the Mississippi River, highlight environmental conservation and educate others about wildlife and nature.”
While the multi-country organization gives out many grants, this is one of their bigger contributions, according to Gray.
With this large donation to the Eco Center, just about $95,000 is needed to complete the nature gallery. Artist Susan Holgersson is currently painting a mural in the gallery that illustrates the nature and wildlife of the river.
The painting is expected to be completed in late January or early February. After that, Midwest Exhibits will come in and install a variety of unique learning spots for children and adults to enjoy. This includes a turtle pond, blue heron exhibit, interactive water exhibit, other native animals and more. Clinton County Conservation hopes to have the exhibits up and running this spring.