GRAND MOUND — More than 900 students from schools throughout Clinton County are scheduled to enjoy field trips in April and May with the help of the Clinton County Conservation Foundation’s donations for busing expenses.

The foundation recently learned that many school districts cannot afford to let classes take field trips this year and voted to put up $1,600 to pay part of the cost for educational trips to county parks.

Mark Roberts, education coordinator for the Clinton County Conservation Board, reported this week that 12 groups have registered to take advantage of the offer.

They will come from Whittier, Jefferson and Eagle Heights in Clinton, Calamus-Wheatland, Lost Nation, Northeast Middle School, Ekstrand in DeWitt and Preston.

Destinations will include Eden Valley, Rock Creek, Soaring Eagle Nature Center and Wapsi Center.

In addition to elementary and middle school classes, the entire Clinton High School biology classes, an estimated 225 students, will ride five buses to Wapsi Center, a complex along the Wapsi River operated jointly by Clinton and Scott County park groups.

The requests have totaled $1,900, which Roberts said exhausted the initial $1,600 put up by the foundation, but Jim Haring, president of the foundation, said the topic will be on the agenda for the next meeting to discuss putting up more money.

Other highlights of Conservation Board meeting

n A motion was passed giving Director Walt Wickham authority to sign an agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to receive $1,800 in habitat stamp money toward the purchase 160-acres of wetland northwest of Calamus known as the Ringneck Marsh/Yegge Property.

The parcel has been in the DNR’s wetland program, and thus off the tax rolls, for several years, Roberts said. Purchase price is $175,000.

Several local chapters of conservation organizations have contributed to the purchase price and the parcel will eventually be opened to the public for hunting, Wickham has said.

n Wickham reported to the board that the County Board of Supervisors approved a 2.2 percent increase in the board’s operating budget for next year, but did not allow the proposed hiring of a natural resources technician to manage the board’s 1,600 acres of woodlands, wetlands and native prairies.

n The board voted to grant Wickham a 5.5 percent raise for next year. He presently is being paid $65,229.