UI WILD programs will continue throughout year-long review process
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Over the next year, a University of Iowa review committee will be charged to engage the community regarding the use of Macbride Nature Recreation Area (MNRA). The UI currently leases MNRA from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the lease expires in 2029. 

The committee will consist of representatives from departments that use MNRA, as well as shared governance. Input also will be gathered from the campus and broader community. This summer, UI WILD programs, which include the Iowa Raptor Project, Iowa Wildlife Camps, and School of the Wild, will continue to take place at MNRA. 

The review is part of a standard process whereby the university regularly evaluates programming and centers. The goal of such reviews is to ensure fiscal sustainability and consistency with the university’s mission of excellent education and research opportunities for a broad array of students.

The recreation spot, located north of Iowa City near Lake Macbride State Park, is owned by the Corps of Engineers. The corps doesn’t charge the university rent, but the university is responsible for maintaining all landscape, structures, and roads. The university has leased the MNRA from the Corps of Engineers since the early 1960s, with the current agreement extending through July 1, 2029.

“The university provides excellent conservation education through the UI WILD programs, and is committed to continuing this experiential learning for our future teachers and K-12 students in Iowa,” says Kevin Kregel, executive vice president and provost. “We understand these programs are important to the university and the greater community.” 

The university committee will provide a report to President Barbara Wilson by May 1, 2025.