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Letter to the Editor: Getting Out:The Outdoor Alliance of Story County

To the editor:

Margaret Mead aptly noted, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” And that is how this story begins.

On a hot June afternoon in 2012, a small group gathered at a local coffee shop to discuss the need to enhance outdoor recreation, education and conservation in Story County. Our discussion ended in agreement: Additional investments in the natural resources of Story County are essential for providing more and better opportunities for this and future generations.

As a result of this meeting, a working group formed to establish the Outdoor Alliance of Story County. Months of working through the IRS application process followed. Fortunately, this effort culminated in the IRS approving our nonprofit tax-deductible status in December 2013.

With the founding of the Outdoor Alliance of Story County, Story County joins two-thirds of the counties in Iowa that already have one or more tax-deductible groups that can work with their county conservation boards. These groups have created more open space, outdoor recreation and educational opportunities. The same can be done in Story County with your support, too.

Besides partnering with and supporting the many efforts of Story County Conservation, the Outdoor Alliance of Story County can also work with the cities, towns and other groups in the county to enhance outdoor recreation, education and conservation. Public and private partnerships have a track record of driving new investments and opportunities.

Investments in open spaces, outdoor education and recreation create their own economic and other benefits that spill out across a community. Though this story began with a handful of dedicated individuals, our hope is that you will join in this effort to invest more in open spaces, outdoor education and recreation in Story County. After all, it’s where we live.

John Pohlman, Chair

Board members Mike Meetz, Linda Zaletel, Todd Burras, Diane Birt, Greg Vitale

Outdoor Alliance of Story County

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