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Keep Community in Mind on Rain Forest Decision

Terrence Neuzil

The Gazette

December 17, 2005

[Note: This material is copyright by The Gazette, 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 Gazette.]

In regard to The Environmental Project, three things are going to happen: A world-class awe-inspiring rain forest is going to be built. It is going to be in Iowa. It is going to be one of the largest tourism attractions in Iowa history. The question now is which community in Iowa wants it more? And at what cost, not only in dollars, but also in control and pride. I trust that Coralville’s leaders will make a decision, for or against, that is reasoned, thoughtful and honest. A decision made with the entire community — Coralville, Iowa City, the University of Iowa, all of Johnson County — in mind.

    If Coralville decides not to pursue the rain forest, I would suggest, at minimum, a couple of countywide meetings take place to brainstorm what should go on this land that is clearly receiving tax dollars from all of us.

    Ilya Prigogine once said, ‘‘The future is uncertain — but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.’’ Whatever Coralville decides to put in the old industrial park (hopefully a rain forest, but a river walk, a sports complex, a water park, an outdoor amphitheater would be nice, too), I’m confident the project will be world class, awe-inspiring and be one of the largest tourism attractions in Iowa.

Terrence Neuzil Rain Forest Citizen Advisory Board member Iowa City

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