In 2012, the first Polk County Water & Land Legacy Bond passed overwhelmingly across Polk County.

The bond funds were ultimately matched multiple times over. The bonds helped protect natural areas in Polk County to reduce future flooding risks, protect sources of our clean drinking water supply, and provide outdoor recreational opportunities for future generations.

Now, it’s time to renew these bonds on November 2nd, 2021, and renew our commitment to clean water, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, and the prevention of future flood events.

In addition to the clean water and environmental benefits, investment in our natural areas, rivers, lakes, and streams are some of the best ways to build vibrant and growing communities where families will want to live and raise families. Research from Iowa State University shows that investment in these sorts of programs is one of the top reasons young professionals want to move to areas – like Polk County – making investments in conservation and outdoor recreation.

Parks and natural areas provide fantastic opportunities for families and children to walk, run, and bicycle safely – improving Polk County residents’ physical and mental health and reducing health care costs.

Protection of our public outdoor spaces is critical to supporting livable and walkable communities where families of all ages can flourish.


Polk County Water & Land Legacy Bond

The Polk County Conservation Board’s mission is to provide the citizens of Polk County with quality outdoor recreation, conservation education, and long-term protection of Polk County’s natural heritage.

In a joint venture with the Polk County Board of Supervisors, we have placed the Polk County Water & Land Legacy Bond provision on the November 2, 2021 ballot. The bond will help fund the preservation of our water quality and continued nature conservation for the Central Iowa community.

Our bond measure will focus on the following priorities:

Water quality
Access to clean drinking water is imperative. This initiative seeks to protect the water quality of our rivers, lakes, and streams, including the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers and their tributaries.

Nature Conservation
Protecting the wildlife habitat surrounding our waterways will help sustain our water quality goals. The bond will help preserve natural areas and encourage access to more outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking, picnicking, and shore fishing. We also plan to expand educational resources on nature conservation for children. 

Accessibility to our waterways
We additionally want to create improved opportunities for people to enjoy our natural waterways. This bond will help improve public access to both the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers to provide opportunities like floating, canoeing, boating, and fishing. This includes measures to help prevent flooding.

Protect wildlife habitats
We want to protect natural areas, provide nature education opportunities for children and provide more outdoor recreational opportunities such as fishing, hiking, picnicking, and canoeing.



Shall the County of Polk, State of Iowa, issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not exceeding $65,000,000 for the purpose of acquisition and improvement of land for conservation, recreation, or other public park purposes to be managed by the Polk County Conservation Board, including protecting drinking water sources, protecting the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams, including the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers and their tributaries, protecting wildlife habitat and natural areas, providing more outdoor recreational opportunities, improving public access to and the safety of rivers and creeks for floating, boating, and fishing, providing walking, hiking, biking, and water trails in Polk County, and preventing flooding, with full public disclosure of all expenditures?


  • Campaign Chairs | Tom Levis & Mark Ackelson 
  • Fundraising Chairs | Chris Hensley & Gerry Neugent 
  • Outreach Chairs | Ryan Crane & Pat Boddy