The state of Iowa is filled with stunning open spaces, unique and valuable natural resources, rolling hills, golden cornfields, rich soil and lush prairie grass.
And yet Iowa ranks 47th of the 50 states in publicly owned conservation acres. It ranks 49th in spending on state parks and protection of those lands (see this PDF document for details).
If we Iowans want to keep the few open spaces, parks, forests, and fields we have, let alone expand them, we need to be innovative in our efforts at conservation.
Greenbelts have successfully preserved millions of acres of open space and natural resources throughout the United States and the world. Greenbelts provide protection from erosion, promote smart development, protect natural resources, and preserve open space for parks, recreational and agricultural uses.
Greenbelt efforts increase the quality of life and the natural environment by limiting the increased pollution and land degradation that can come from urban sprawl.