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Great Outdoors Foundation introduces conservation credit program


The Great Outdoors Foundation is launching a conservation credit program that is designed to help offset everyday practices, such as driving, shopping and water usage. According to a news release, the credits, once purchased, are reinvested in local spaces, focusing on carbon, water and pollinator initiatives. Participants are asked to consider their carbon footprint, choose an investment level and match that with a project. Because the credits are used locally, participants can visit the site where their investment is used. The Great Outdoor Foundation is partnering with Polk County Conservation on three conservation credit projects: Fourmile Creek Greenway, Crane Meadows and Easter Lake Park. The projects focus on restoring native environments, improving water quality and protecting pollinator habitats. According to a news release, the program’s concept gained traction under intern Emily Durbala, a Waukee High School student with knowledge in environmental science gained through the school’s Aspiring Professional Experience program. Durbala worked with foundation staff to develop a carbon credit modeled after the traditional carbon credit approach while offering participants a chance to benefit their local environment. “As leaders in the conservation space, we at the Great Outdoors Foundation realized that there was a need to provide a service that would allow an everyday Iowan to mitigate their carbon footprint and reinvest in the local environment,” said foundation CEO Hannah Inman in the release.

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