Revitalize through Regional Tourism

When done right, tourism can be a soft use of natural resources. Fortunately, Northeast Iowa is a traveler’s paradise and thus, our tourism industry is a multi-million dollar business. We believe our natural resources, small communities, historic sites, art, local businesses, and restaurants draw visitors and new residents to our region. This supports our local businesses and communities and diversify our economy. By facilitating partnerships and encouraging regional initiatives, we are able to move beyond the limited budgets available to county and community tourism and economic development directors. We are also able to help shape the tourism message so that it fosters protection of our natural resources. We secure funding for and help implement innovative projects, which include major community infrastructure projects, branding and marketing initiatives, natural resource publications, and innovative partnerships.

Northeast Iowa Tourism Association (NEITA) – We developed and facilitate a 7-county team of tourism and economic development directors, helping create, implement and evaluate regional marketing initiatives that influence the public’s perception of Northeast Iowa. This group is considered a model by state tourism leaders. The regional marketing tools we have helped NEITA develop have been extremely effective and won state awards.

Iowa Byway Sustainability Project – In partnership with four scenic byway boards (River Bluffs, Driftless Area, Delaware Crossing and Grant Wood), the Iowa DOT, and byway leaders across Iowa, we are working with dozens of communities and counties to develop four scenic byways, their communities, and attractions into exceptional tourism destinations, securing millions of dollars for infrastructure, interpretation, promotion and marketing.

Northeast Iowa Regional Trails System – We work with county conservation boards and private trails groups across the region to help them plan and fund local trails and maximize connections with others through the regional system. As we help develop trails, we strive to maximize the environmental and economic benefits for the communities and the region. Projects include the Trout Run Trail, Prairie Farmer Trail, Wapsi Great Western Line Trail, Mississippi River Trail, Turkey River Corridor Trail, Dry Run Trail, and the Freeport Trail.

Turkey River Recreational Corridor – We started by providing planning and grant writing assistance. We now provide coordination, marketing, grant writing, and other assistance to this partnership of 3 communities and 2 counties who are developing and marketing recreational opportunities along the Turkey River Corridor.

Time to get your hands on one of several new print publications here at the RC&D! Over the last few months our team of writers, planners, photographers, developers, and designers has worked with numerous partners across the region to put together a Fayette County Trout Fishing...

Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development Inc. will be starting on a community revitalization plan in Postville this summer. The plan seeks to increase private and public investment in the area by creating a comprehensive community vision for development, improvements and infrastructure. “We look forward to working...

The Byways of Iowa Foundation and the Northeast Iowa RC&D are working with partners across the state to develop the first 15 large public art pieces in Iowa Scenic Byway communities.  Design concepts will be imagined and developed by local community leaders, residents, and youth. These...

Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development worked with the Iowa League of RC&D’s, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), 5 other Iowa RC&Ds, 10 scenic byway boards, 10 County Conservation Boards and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible producers across...

Northeast Iowa RC&D has developed culinary passports for the River Bluffs Scenic Byway, Driftless Area Scenic Byway, Grant Wood Scenic Byway and Delaware Crossing Scenic Byway! These passports will help you "Eat Your Way Along the Byways" by guiding you to experience unique dishes and...

The communities of Clermont, Elgin and Elkader in Fayette and Clayton Counties are linked by the special, scenic beauty of the Turkey River Corridor. The corridor communities share a common mission to develop and enhance the existing natural resource base of the Turkey River Corridor...

Northeast Iowa RC&D was awarded an Iowa Community Cultural Grant to photograph and feature northeast Iowa's historic, cultural and art attractions on the new www.visitiowa.org website. This website is hosted by the Northeast Iowa Tourism Association and provides travelers with rich information on what to...

We work with county conservation boards and private trails groups across the region to help them plan and fund local trails and maximize connections with others through the regional system. As we help develop trails, we strive to maximize the environmental and economic benefits for...

NE IA RC&D is just completing this multi-year, multi-jurisdictional, multi-million dollar project to develop a marina on the Mississippi River in historic downtown Guttenberg. The goal of the project was to provide assistance to the City of Guttenberg to maximize natural resource based economic development without...

Iowa's eleven byways are home to some of the most scenic roadways in the region. Travel these routes and you'll discover unique land features, welcoming people, and a host of fascinating cultural and historical sites not found on the beaten path....