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Lotti, a 1-year-old Vizsla owned by Scott Peters of Council Bluffs, romps about Green Hill Ranch, a 506-acre property in the Loess Hills between Pottawattamie and Mills counties owned through a partnership between the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, during a tour on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.

Golden Hills RC&D of Oakland was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Park Service and Outdoor Foundation for interpretation and programming along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and Loess Hills National Scenic Byway through western Iowa.

Golden Hills staff will work with regional National Park Service staff and byway stakeholders to inventory, update and install interpretive panels at historic, cultural, conservation, and recreational sites in the Missouri River-Loess Hills corridor.

The project proposal includes two new interpretive signs in each of the counties – Woodbury, Monona, Harrison, Pottawattamie, Mills and Fremont — that the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and Loess Hills National Scenic Byway have in common. Three additional signs will also be placed in the six-county corridor, at locations yet to be determined.

Most of the signs will replace existing exhibits which are several years old and weathered, with new panels containing updated content and designs to better engage visitors. In addition to the educational exhibits, Golden Hills will host three public educational events about Lewis and Clark and the Loess Hills during 2019.

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The National Park Service Challenge Cost Share program supports projects that “promote conservation and outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, education, youth engagement” on sites administered by NPS, which includes the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Golden Hills RC&D is a nonprofit organization with a mission “to develop and promote sustainable cultural and conservation projects that enhance the quality of life and preserve the assets of rural western Iowa.”

It takes the financial support of southwest Iowa organizations and community members for Golden Hills RC&D to continue offering projects in arts, culture and conservation. For more information about Golden Hill RC&D, visit goldenhillsrcd.org.

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