Yesterday (7/21) Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced $4.65 million in grant funding for three projects through Destination Iowa. The $100 million program, announced in April, invests in transformational attractions that will bolster the quality of life in Iowa communities, enhance tourism and attract new residents.

The City of Maquoketa and Jackson County Conservation were awarded $750,000 for improvements to the Prairie Creek Recreation Area, including the installation of a whitewater paddling course on the Maquoketa River, a championship-caliber disc golf course, and ADA-accessible hiking trails. Prairie Creek Recreation Area is located on the South East side of Maquoketa.

Prairie Creek Recreation Area currently features modern restrooms by Prairie Creek Pavilion. More than five miles of hiking trails. a 2-acre fishing pond stocked with bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie and catfish. 1 and 1/2 miles of Prairie Creek runs through. The area is also open to archery hunting.

Photo Credit: Google Maps
Photo Credit: Google Maps
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IEDA began accepting applications on May 9th and will continue to review applications on through December 31 of this year, or until funding runs out. The first round of funding was announced in late June and included four awards totaling $16.5 million. Applications are scored based on eligibility, completeness, and the project’s ability to meet the program goal of creating transformational tourism attractions. Cities, counties, nonprofits and other organizations can apply for Destination Iowa grants through four separate funds: Economically Significant Development, Outdoor Recreation, Tourism Attraction, and Creative Placemaking.

All funded projects must be completed by June 30th of 2026. Funding for this program was provided by the federal American Rescue Plan Act. For more information and applications visit iowaeda.com/destination-iowa/.

Heading South? Check out the beautiful Eden Valley Refuge

Photos: Eden Valley Refuge

A trip through the trails and nature center at Eden Valley Refuge in Baldwin, IA