Coordinates: Earthpark is a proposed best-in-class educational facility with indoor rain forest and aquarium elements, and a mission of "inspiring generations to learn from the natural world." It was previously called the Environmental Project.
Earthpark was to be located around Lake Red Rock, near the town of Pella, Iowa. In December 2007, federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for the Pella location was rescinded. Proposals from a variety of potential hosts, some outside of Iowa are being considered.
Talks between Earthpark and the city of Coralville, Iowa, the original planned location of Earthpark, ended in 2006. The project then found a new home in Pella, Iowa. but that did not become a reality. A similar project exists in Cornwall, England, called The Eden Project.
Size and scope
The total project cost for Earthpark is estimated to be $155 million USD. The complex was planned to be 3.5 acres (14,000 m2) in area with a 600,000 gallon aquarium and outdoor wetland and prairie exhibits.
The Earthpark project was expected to employ 150 people directly and create an additional 2000 indirect jobs. The economic impact was estimated to be $130 million USD annually. The park was projected to draw 1 million visitors annually to the Pella area.
In August 2008, when asked if any efforts would be made to get additional federal money for the project, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said "Not by this senator, and I don't think there will be any by other senators."
- Press Citizen, "Top 10 news stories of 2006", December 27, 2006, retrieved on December 29, 2006.
- "Can this vision become reality?", Press-Citizen, September 2, 2008
- "Pella Lands the Earthpark", Town Crier News, retrieved on December 29, 2006
- Stephen Schmidt (August 26, 2008). "Grassley frustrated with federal response to flood". The Gazette.
- Official website
- Sarah Franklin (November 19, 2003). "Coralville rain forest loses federal funds". "The Daily Iowan.
- Emily Derrico (March 31, 2005). "Coralville rain forest still short". The Daily Iowan.
- Michael Judge (March 9, 2006). "The Incredible Shrinking Rain Forest: The strange odyssey of Sen. Grassley's earmark". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Campaign Ad Calls Rainforest Wasteful Spending; Organizers Say Earthpark Will Bring In $130M Annually". KCCI. October 25, 2006.