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Could Des Moines Get the Rain Forest?

December 2, 2005

[Note: This material is copyright by WHO-TV13, 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 WHO-TV13.]

Des Moines, December 2nd - The city of Coralville may not be the new site of the Iowa rain forest. Coralville officials say they've scheduled a meeting with organizers of the environmental project to talk about what they can do to keep the deal.

But Des Moines city officials and project organizers have met about bringing the project to Des Moines. Channel 13 learned city leaders have been talking with the Iowa Environmental Project about a potential move to Des Moines for two months. Talks focused on the idea of building the rainforest project close to other new downtown draws like the Riverwalk, Science Center and Sec Taylor stadium. The most likely spot is somewhere just east of Sec Taylor stadium, but close enough to downtown that you could still walk to the rainforest once it's built.

Plus, Des Moines may be able to add to the rainforest sweetening the deal. The addition would be the Blank Park Zoo.

Tonight we know the Environmental Project had two meetings in recent months with the Des Moines school district. This afternoon Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie told us, if the rainforest does need a new home, city leaders should be ready to make sure it ends up in Des Moines. 

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