Credit goes to Dubuque city and county officials for finding a pathway toward a sharing agreement that allows for a local treasure to remain open.
Last week, both the Dubuque City Council and the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors approved a joint partnership that will facilitate the hiring of a full-time naturalist to staff the E.B. Lyons Nature Center at Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.
Working in tandem with Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Friends of the Mines of Spain, the government entities pulled together to keep the doors open at the state park’s facility.
The city and the county will split the cost for funding operation of the center, with some additional financial support from the DNR.
A shoutout also goes to the Friends of the Mines of Spain, a volunteer organization committed to supporting the center, which has raised money and supplied volunteers since state budget cuts resulted in significantly reduced hours at the center since 2017.
Here’s an example of government officials setting aside bureaucracy to focus on what’s good for their constituents. We look forward to seeing E.B. Lyons Nature Center get back to providing local educational opportunities highlighting our natural world.
Speaking of outdoor recreational amenities, that’s been the subject of conversation in Dubuque County recently, driven by last week’s vote on the county conservation measure, which barely failed to get the 60% support needed for passage. In the lead up to the vote, proponents spoke passionately about the weight of outdoor amenities in keeping young people here and in attracting young workers.
The Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce voiced strong support for conservation projects, linking the availability of trails and outdoor recreation space as critical to attracting workforce.
Though the measure failed, those sentiments remain true. So it was wonderful to see the City of Dubuque moving forward on completing another piece of its ever-growing web of biking and walking trails.
City Council members recently approved construction of the second portion of the Chavenelle Road Hike-Bike Trail project, extending the trail along Chavenelle from Radford Road to the Northwest Arterial. That will connect with the existing Northwest Arterial trail. Plans call for eventually connecting to a Southwest Arterial trail and even a Bellevue, Iowa, trail.
Trails around Dubuque are a wise community investment.
A salute to Cassville (Wis.) High School teacher Becky Mai for her efforts to recognize local veterans from her community who served through the years — and establishing a display just in time for Veterans Day.
The Veteran Wall of Honor was unveiled this week, filling the walls of a hallway at the high school. The installation includes 5-inch-by-7-inch acrylic plaques that feature portraits of service members and details that include their names, military branches, years served and Cassville class years.
So far, the wall honors 179 people who attended the high school, but Mai fully intends for it to grow.
In a week in which we are called to remember all those who served, it’s great to see a community effort like this one that will put that reminder in front of the next generation of students and future leaders. A nod to all who had a part in bringing this project to fruition.