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Dubuque Withdraws from Rain Forest Site List

Zack Kucharski

The Gazette

January 13, 2006

[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.]

    DUBUQUE — The city of Dubuque is removing itself from the list of Iowa communities under consideration for the proposed $180 million indoor rain forest.

    While Dubuque city leaders discussed incorporating the rain forest as part of an expansion of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium last fall, Jerry Enzler, executive director of the museum, said the current rain forest project doesn’t tie in to the group’s central focus.

    ‘‘If the project would be built in Dubuque, it would look substantially different than if it went anywhere else in the state,’’ Enzler said. ‘‘We’d welcome an opportunity to collaborate with them on a modified project, but we are not going to be submitting a proposal for the project as it’s currently described.’’

    Enzler is expected to announce details of an expansion to the museum and aquarium today.

    Meanwhile, officials with the Environmental Project, the group proposing the indoor rain forest, are continuing discussions with several Iowa cities after failing to reach an agreement on a 22-acre site in Coralville.

    While Coralville remains a possible site for the rain forest, project officials are in discussions with Des Moines, Riverside, Grinnell and Tiffin about locating in one of those cities. A final site selection is expected in March.