Dozens of Iowans, trail supporters and business leaders gathered at the steps of the Iowa State Capitol today to send a clear message to the legislature: The time to invest in Iowa's trails is now.

As the state legislature debates trail funding, including how best to leverage the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund (Trust Fund) to invest in trails, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) convened the rally with other partners across the state to release new data about the economic and health impact of Iowa's trails.

A state-based analysis of RTC's report, "Active Transportation Transforms America," found that the net economic impact of trails and active transportation annually in Iowa is as much as $1.09 billion, including direct spending of up to $637 million and health costs avoided of $453 million. This analysis reveals Iowa's role in contributing to the nation's current annual trail and active transportation economy of $34.1 billion, which has the potential to grow to $138.5 billion each year as infrastructure connectivity improves.

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