Conservation, Parks & Trails, Water Quality

Supervisor Brent Oleson is a strong advocate of protecting and enhancing Iowa’s natural resources and promoting outdoor recreation opportunities in Linn County. Iowa’s environmental quality, outdoor recreational opportunities, and our local economy are strongly linked together.  

We need to be able to compete with other states for businesses and associated jobs in order to keep our economy healthy. It isn’t enough to lure businesses here or create an economic environment for growth, if we’re not providing parallel conditions for a desirable quality of life for the workforce, their families and our citizens generally. Linn County has wonderful natural areas, ripe for enhancement to enjoy hiking, trail biking, canoeing, camping, exploring, hunting, birding, and about a thousand other outdoor activities. 

We need Supervisor Oleson’s continued leadership on conservation, parks, trails and water quality initiatives. For example, Supervisor Oleson has fought tirelessly to provide funding to enhance recreation opportunities. Trails are one area where much more needs to be done. Trails are largely a local responsibility in Iowa, whereas in many other states, state governments oversee the statewide trail system. No matter which governmental entity manages trails, people want them and local trails are an integral part of encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle. Linn County, through its Conservation Board has applied for numerous grants to construct and improve trails. In its latest grant review, there were 56 projects being considered, only a small number of which were funded. Supervisor Oleson has worked tirelessly to secure increased state support for our trail system. Additionally, Linn County citizens have already taken the initiative to put skin in the game with an aggressive budget for trails, setting aside millions through the local option sales tax and other revenues to help build a comprehensive trail system for residents and visitors.  Let’s keep Supervisor Oleson blazing trails of leadership for our community.

Iowa will never have the amount of public open space that many states enjoy. Our local farm economy necessitates private ownership of most land; however, this means that remaining public lands are in demand for recreation and enjoyment of our varied natural resources. In Linn County, the Conservation Board has identified $70 million worth of unmet needs that exist today to enhance our parks and natural spaces. Supervisor Oleson has spearheaded efforts to enact funding for the Iowa & Water Land Legacy Trust Fund, which would provide much-needed resources for Conservation and Environmental initiatives locally. Implementing funding to the Trust Fund would begin to address the $70 million unmet needs backlog, while addressing our watershed for natural flood protection, preservation of wetlands, and beginning to get serious about our overall water quality.