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Project Needs Our Support

Adam Weeks

Iowa City Press-Citizen

October 29, 2005

[Note: This material is copyright by the Press-Citizen, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.]

It troubles me to witness such narrow mindedness by the very reporters we turn to for news each day. For years now, the Iowa Environmental Project, though it has had other names, has been simply called a rain forest in Iowa.

Well, in my opinion, if one wishes to garner any sort of support, this oxymoron should be put to rest. However, it is my belief that opponents of this magnificent project use this negative hype much to their advantage. This project is a visionary icon located in what is supposed to be an educational center. It's not just a rain forest, but an aquarium, amphitheater, prairie restoration project and, most important, an educational masterpiece that will bring unimaginable amounts of dollars and many jobs to our community.

A couple years ago, ABC's "Good Morning America" produced a story in which its reporter stood affront a cornfield supposable in Iowa and did his best to belittle the project. Not only was the location inaccurate, with no mention of the brown field cleanup, but it was biased and irresponsible. I can only speculate that if this project were slated for New York City that it would be considered the greatest environmental spectacle of all time.

Some members of the Coralville City Council have suggested that other projects with similar draw could be located in the landing. I for one don't see this as having a chance unless Midwest Disney is coming to our beloved metro. Finally, Sen. Charles Grassley should not feel embarrassed about supporting projects in his state ("Sen. Grassley 'embarrassed' but committed," Oct. 28). If Iowa doesn't utilize this earmarked money, another project in another state will.

Adam Weeks

North Liberty