Health Groups Join Push to Fund Outdoor Trust Fund

Dec 8, 2016

A number of health organizations are joining the push to fund the dormant Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. They contend it will lead Iowans to more active lifestyles.

Seth Johnson with the American Heart Association.
Credit Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio

Iowa voters approved the fund by 63 percent in 2010. It has never held any money. Supporters are calling on the Legislature to approve a three-eighths cent sales tax increase to fill its coffers. A campaign coordinator with the American Heart Association, Seth Johnson, says his group is joining Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy coalition to draw support for hiking trails and other outdoor activities.

“When we talk about the Water & Land Legacy, it’s not just water quality, but it’s also the preserving and enhancing of our natural resources and our outdoor recreation opportunities,” he says.

Johnson, says money from the trust fund would help establish healthier lifestyles and improve safety.

“We believe all Iowans deserve access to recreation and part of the Trust Fund formula has a carve out for increasing trails and increasing sidewalks, safe routes to school,” he says.

Supporters of funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
Credit Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio

Among the other groups signing on to the effort are the American Diabetes Association, Above and Beyond Cancer, the American Cancer Society, the Iowa Public Health Association and the Iowa State Alliance of YMCA.