Organizers of the Iowa Confluence Water Trails have announced the creation of the MidAmerican Energy Regional Fund to provide grants that will allow nonprofits, cities and counties to activate their sites within the regional project. According to a news release, the fund was made possible by a $5 million gift from MidAmerican Energy that is being held by the Great Outdoors Foundation. ICON Water Trails, formerly Central Iowa Water Trails, is a collective commitment and regional collaboration for water safety and conservation. The goal is to support business and workforce attraction by enhancing access to the waterways in Central Iowa, increasing recreational opportunities and conservation. ICON Water Trails participants will be able to request funds through a simple online form. Awards will vary and will be based on criteria aligned with ICON’s goals. ICON Water Trails encompasses more than 80 planned improvements on 150 miles of waterways. The funds will be distributed on a semiannual basis with the first round of applications opening in September. The fund goes along with an 80 days of ICON fundraising campaign that was launched last week. Previously, project organizers had raised more than $25 million privately for the $117 million project. The project also was awarded a $25 million BUILD grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Polk County voters will consider a $65 million bond issue to help fund the project during November’s election.