Iowa’s Water & Land Legacy (IWiLL) How does IWiLL Benefit Iowa and Iowa’s Communities?
• Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWiLL) brings Iowans together in support of permanent, substantial, reliable funding to improve our water quality, protect our soil, enhance our wildlife habitat, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Iowa.
• In 2010, 63% of Iowans voted for a constitutional amendment to create the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, a permanent and protected funding source.
• The Trust Fund provides quality of life components like trails, outdoor recreation, and access to public land that Iowans demand. These quality-of-life initiatives will ensure that Iowa can attract and retain a qualified workforce while also guaranteeing that Iowa and its communities reap the economic benefits and vibrancy that is generation by ecotourism.
• A December 2021 Survey shows that 70% of Iowans support the State Legislature raising the sales tax to activate funding of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund – highest support ever.
• Most Trust Fund dollars are designated for water quality improvement projects, including lake restoration, soil and water protection, and enhanced flood protection efforts. Up to two-thirds of the revenue is available for voluntary conservation projects outlined in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
• IWiLL would significantly accelerate the adoption and implementation of climate-smart conservation practices across the state, helping to meet the goals/targets established by the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
• As of 2020, there are at least $673.3 million in shovel-ready projects identified by IWiLL ready to implement today if funding were available ($492.8 million water quality projects and $44.5 million outdoor recreational projects).
• In Iowa, outdoor recreation accounts for $8.7 billion in consumer spending, $2.7 billion in wages, 83,000 direct jobs and $649 million in state and local revenue tax. • Iowa’s ability to capitalize on the economic opportunities of outdoor recreation is stunted by limited resources. Less than 3 percent of Iowa’s land is open to the public, ranking 47th in the nation.
• The quality of life provided by the Trust Fund to support outdoor recreation is key to workforce retention and development and the economic vibrancy of Iowa. Rural Revitalization
• Rural Iowa will benefit from the economic capital growth, tourism sales, and the conservation benefits that the Trust Fund will provide.
• Quality of life initiatives, including outdoor recreation opportunities, will encourage our educated young Iowans to choose thriving rural communities to live, work and raise families.
• The preservation and investments to protect Iowa’s green spaces, water, and air quality can be keys to improving the health of current and future Iowans. Children’s risk for obesity can increase by as much as 60% if they don’t have nearby parks, sidewalks, and other green space or recreational amenities.
• The Trust Fund is Iowa’s opportunity to redirect the course of our children and provide a thriving environment that supports their health and wellbeing.
• Studies also indicate that people that live near trails are 50% more likely to meet physical activity guidelines, saving on medical costs and increasing worker productivity.
2022 Legislative Ask
We urge legislators to pass legislation to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund to improve Iowa’s water quality, reduce soil erosion, conserve wildlife habitat, and create recreational opportunities for every Iowan.