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MAQUOKETA — Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection assemblies will begin in two weeks, giving Iowans an opportunity to share and discuss their visions for Iowa’s outdoor recreation, soil and water enhancement, historical resources and land management and more.

Locally, a REAP session will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Hurstville Interpretive Center in Maquoketa.

REAP assemblies are locally led meetings where issues can be brought forth and voted upon. Iowans can discuss the program, recommend changes and discuss impacts in their area. Delegates may also be selected from the local meeting to attend the REAP congress in January at the State Capitol in Des Moines.

Each assembly represents a region of counties and participants are required to attend the region for the county in which they reside. Meetings are held in the evening and last approximately 90 minutes. A list of REAP assembly locations is available online at 2021 REAP Assemblies.

“REAP assemblies provide Iowans a perfect opportunity to share their views and learn others views about parks, trails, museums and other amenities,” said Kayla Lyon, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “It’s critical that community members are engaged in these meetings to help shape the future of and enhance recreational opportunities in our state for the future.”

Each year, REAP provides funding for local projects through a grant process and each year, the requests for city and county grants exceed the amount available by two or three times. Since the program debuted in 1989, more than $365 million has been awarded to more than 15,500 projects.

“REAP benefits every single county, every year, in one way or another, either through improved water quality, by preserving our historical assets or providing outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Michelle Wilson, coordinator for REAP with the Iowa DNR. “REAP significantly impacts the quality of life of all Iowans.”

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