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Rain Forest Not a Good Investment

Jim Ruebush

Iowa City Press-Citizen

December 5, 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.]

I read with interest the notice in the Press-Citizen about the upcoming meeting of the Environmental Project and Coralville.

I was lukewarm about the project since its inception. As a science teacher at West High, I was hopeful that the good educational aspects of the project would come about. But, the tax paying citizen in me felt this project was not a good investment. Waiting for two years for the leaders of the project to finally give Coralville an ultimatum made me feel like they should take it elsewhere. I think we can do better.

Here are a few of my ideas to be considered for the project:

1. Drop the idea of an enclosed rain forest. Instead, have it highlight the diversity and importance of the midwestern ecosystems.

2. Add a world class, environmentally friendly, indoor water park with a giant wave machine. People would come from everywhere and at all times of the year to relax and play. They would stay in the new hotel and other existing hotels.

3. Make the entire project rely heavily upon solar assisted heating, renewable energy sources, and revenue from Interstate 80 traffic. The park should be as self-sustaining as possible.

We would be out from under the umbrella of this group and able to proceed with the land use on Coralville's terms.

It would be a win-win project for Coralville and the entire area. And, it would be a lot of good clean fun.

Jim Ruebush