Loess Hills Missouri River Region Annual Meeting and Year in Review Celebration now to be held March 8

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 16th, 2019 by Chris Parks

(Oakland, IA)— The Loess Hills Missouri River Region is excited to share the accomplishments of 2018 with the public during a Year in Review Celebration at Uncle Buck’s Grill at Bass Pro Shops on Friday, March 8th from 4 to 5 PM.  It has been nearly one year since Governor Reynolds, the Iowa Parks Foundation, and the Loess Hills Missouri River Region (LHMRR) Board and stakeholders gathered at the Field House in Council Bluffs to announce MidAmerican Energy Foundation’s $500,000 commitment to the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People Plan, and the board has been busy with regional priority projects ever since.

The Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People Plan was created by a group of stakeholders from Harrison, Mills and Pottawattamie Counties and the Friends of Lake Manawa, who first assembled in 2014.  The Plan, in partnership with the Iowa Parks Foundation, supports collaborative, regional projects to enhance economic development and tourism; public health and social vitality; natural resources, parks and trails; and overall regional vibrancy. This initiative intends to attract and retain young people interested in an active lifestyle, which will stimulate Iowa’s economy and promote business growth.  A primary goal is to offer a fully connected 21st Century parks system, in time for the Iowa Parks Centennial in 2020.

In 2018, the LHMRR Board officially designated its first round of priority projects for funding from the MidAmerican Energy Foundation’s $500,000 challenge grant to the Parks to People Plan. $338,000 has been dedicated towards the following priority projects: Harrison County Conservation Board’s Willow Lake Nature Center and Overland Hiking Trail; Lake Manawa’s Dream Playground; Mills County Trails Board’s Glenwood Trail Project; Mills County Conservation Board’s Pony Creek Expansion; Lewis & Clark Today Route signage and the Green Hill Ranch conservation area. These projects represent over $10.6 million in planned recreational improvements to the tri-county region. To date, over $5 million of this has been secured or pledged towards implementation.

The LHMRR Board will hold its Annual Meeting and Year in Review Celebration on Friday, March 8th in Council Bluffs.  The public is invited to attend the Year in Review Celebration from 4 to 5 PM, at Uncle Buck’s Grill (2901 Bass Pro Drive).  At this celebration they will give a history of the initiative, outline the process for setting priority projects, overview progress on current priority projects and unveil the concept design for the new logo, branding and website.  Project leaders will be available to answer questions and provide information about priority projects.

The LHMRR is coordinated by Golden Hills RC&D, a nonprofit organization with a mission “to develop and promote sustainable cultural and conservation projects that enhance the quality of life and preserve the assets of rural western Iowa.”  More information about the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People Plan, Annual Meeting and Year in Review Celebration, visit goldenhillsrcd.org/lhmrr or facebook.com/loesshillsmissouririverregion.