Green Ribbon Commission Announces Grant

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A new pilot program is underway in northeast Iowa that organizers hope could lead to improvements across all of Iowa's park systems.

It's part of what is called the Green Ribbon Commission.

At a Statehouse ceremony Monday, leaders unveiled the $1.9 million grant for Dubuque, Jackson, and Jones counties. The money will help promote recreational areas and help pay for enhancements to those parks.

A former longtime Iowa congressman offered his own humorous take on the attention the area will receive

“You mentioned marketing and Dubuque. Back in the 50s if you mentioned marketing in Dubuque you thought right away about bootleggers, that’s the way they marketed. Here we are only 60 years later and we’re talking about marketing and Dubuque and we’re talking about sober people…that’s come a long ways in my lifetime,” said former congressman Neal Smith.

Smith doesn't drink, by the way.

Some of the possible recreation improvements include new cabins and a new park in Whitewater Canyon.

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