City of Dubuque News Release
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City Awarded Grant for Four Mounds Park Restoration

Marie Ware, Leisure Services Manager

Christine Olson, Executive Director

Oct. 17, 2018 -- For Immediate Release

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has awarded the City of Dubuque a grant of $200,000 from Resource Enhancement and Protection, commonly referred to as REAP. 

The grant money will be used to implement the Ecological Restoration and Site Accessibility Project in Four Mounds Park, located at 4900 Peru Rd. on Dubuque’s north side. Four Mounds Park is owned by the City of Dubuque and managed by the Four Mounds Foundation, a non-profit organization. The park overlooks the Mississippi River, providing a spectacular view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. 

As the last remaining intact gentleman’s farm in Iowa, the 60-acre Four Mounds Park is rich in history and natural resources. The Four Mounds Estate consists of cultured grounds, historic gardens, woodlands, prairie, and rare oak savanna. The 17 buildings that make up the estate were residential, farm, recreational and support structures for the site. The site’s namesake is four prehistoric mounds from the Woodland period.  Four Mounds Park is a City Landmark Site, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and a Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area Partner. 

Four Mounds Park offers unique history, archeology, and architecture while providing community-building, local foods, and youth service programming to thousands of Dubuque residents every year. Over time, Four Mounds Park’s green space and natural wooded areas have experienced erosion and sediment loss. Increasing numbers of invasive plant species have added to the stormwater management issues on the park’s rolling and sometimes rugged terrain. 

The REAP project will restore woodland, savanna, prairie and bluffland across the 60-acre park. The project will mitigate and reverse impacts of erosion, sediment loss, and invasive species with sustainable best management practices and appropriate woodland, savanna, and prairie species. This project will restore and enhance native plant and animal communities and soil quality. The project also involves ADA-accessible improvements for parking and pathways. 

REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect the Iowa’s natural and cultural resources.  Fifteen percent of REAP is set aside for grants to cities for projects that help establish natural areas, encourage outdoor recreation and resource management.

In its 28 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting over 15,000 projects. REAP has funded these projects with $300 million in state investments, leveraging two to three times the amount in private, local, and federal dollars.  Collectively, these projects have improved the quality of life for all Iowans with better soil and water quality; added outdoor recreation opportunities; sustained economic development; enhanced knowledge and understanding of our ecological and environmental assets, and preservation of our cultural and historic treasures.

REAP has benefited the City of Dubuque greatly since 1997, with over $2.9 million from 15 REAP grants invested in building off-road trails throughout the community and expanding the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Area at the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. 

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