Have you ever seen one of these signs along an Iowa bike trail and wondered what it was about?

REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection program) and was initiated 25 years ago in Iowa.  The program provides funding for soil and water conservation programs, parks, and public land management. Funding is generated through the sale of the natural resource licence plate and also hunting and fishing licenses.  

Notable bike trails such as the High Trestle Trail and Raccoon River Valley Trail have received assistance from REAP.  Smaller trails such as the one running my community of Waukee, has also benefited.  

History was made last week with state legislature agreeing to fully fund REAP with the allocation of $25 million dollars!  Over the past 25 years this had never happened before.  A fully funded program will be equipped to make great strides to protect and enhance our state’s natural resources.  Iowa’s bike trail systems are sure to be positively impacted.

Next time you see a REAP sign while out on a bike ride consider it a reminder of what this state program means to Iowa bike trails and the role we all play in keeping Iowa beautiful.

To learn more about REAP and how you can contribute, visit the

Update 5-3-2014:  Sadly, despite the legislature victory mentioned above, the Governor Terry Brandstad chose to trim the approved REAP budget down to $16 million dollars.  With their funding reduced, state agencies such as the Iowa DNR and the INHF expressed their disappointment and concern regarding maintaining Iowa's parklands  and water quality.  

Read a detailed report at The Des Moines Register.