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The Linn County 1,000 Acres Pollinator Initiative is a recipient of the 2019 Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) Excellence in Action Award. The Excellence in Action Award Program is a competitive awards program that seeks to recognize innovative county government employees, programs, and projects. The awards were presented during a ceremony at the ISAC Annual Conference in Des Moines on August 21, 2019.
The 1,000 Acre Pollinator Initiative is a public/private partnership with the Monarch Research Project (MRP), Linn County Conservation, Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation and Marion Parks to restore 1,000 public acres to a diverse native prairie habitat within 5 years. It is a public sector habitat restoration prong of the larger MRP countywide monarch and pollinator effort that includes monarch reproduction, pollinator habitat restoration and landowner outreach and education. 1,000 Acres is addressing on a major scale the need to restore unproductive public lands to healthy, productive native habitats that support pollinators, wildlife, water quality and soil conservation. This restoration leverages broader environmental health community aesthetics, recreational opportunities, nature-based educational opportunities and ultimately human health.
Linn County Conservation serves as the 1,000 Acres liaison with Monarch Research Project for planning, communications, implementation and MRP funding approvals for Linn County, Cedar Rapids and Marion pollinator zones. In the first three years of the initiative, just over 800 of the 1,000 acres will have been installed with a funding level of about $630,000 provided primarily by the Monarch Research Project. Linn County Conservation has served as the contact for local, regional and national association conferences, including the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). This effort is serving as a model for other regions who want to replicate this 1,000 Acre fitting to their communities in continuing to turn the tide for the many native pollinators that are critical to human and environmental health.
Included in Photo: Daniel Gibbins, Linn County Conservation (second from left)
Dennis Goemaat, Linn County Conservation (center)