Increasing Quality of Life Through Destination Iowa Funding
The DSM USA Policy HQ podcast is a monthly conversation between experts on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector.
In this installment of the DSM USA Policy HQ podcast, Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA), and Kami Rankin, Deputy Director for Polk County Conservation, discuss the Destination Iowa program and similar investments around the state.
Building Communities Where People Want to Live
Ensuring there is a sufficient workforce for Iowa and Greater Des Moines (DSM) employers is a top priority for Durham. With the help of the Destination Iowa program, $100 million in funding has been prioritized for transformational attractions that increase the quality of life for Iowa communities. The Athene North Shore Recreation Area at Easter Lake Park project is one of these attractions, which held their groundbreaking just last month. The project will transform the Easter Lake area into an accessible park for the community, offering adaptive equipment, zero-entry ramps and more.
Anywhere from 12-20% of Iowans have some sort of disability. The Easter Lake space will provide those individuals with a recreational place to create memories and spend time with their families and friends. The space will also serve the community when it comes to events, and it will impact local companies and organizations across the region.
Rankin said at the start of the Easter Lake project, $4 million was estimated to be needed to complete it. With inflation and the fleshing out of final details, that cost rose to $8 million. The Destination Iowa funds were the final dollars needed to ensure that the project implements newer design elements into the park and can be completed by its 2024 grand opening.
As Dir. Durham explained, other Destination Iowa projects that have been announced are geographically diverse, inclusive and include the following:
Renovation of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch
- Embracing the four seasons with construction of the Central Plaza at City Square Park in Marion
- Construction of The Last Picture House in Davenport
- Upgrades of connected trail systems
- Private sector investment of the Field of Dreams attraction
Listen to the entire podcast above.
The DSM USA Policy HQ podcast focuses on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector. Join us each month to hear from local Greater Des Moines (DSM) experts. To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here.