QC Wild Places - Fostering ecotourism in the region

River Action and 27 partners have launched a website and program called QC Wild Places that describes 63 natural areas within an hour's drive of the Quad-Cities and how to find them.

At its heart, QC Wild Places highlights that nature thrives in the Midwest and the Quad Cities region is no exception. From the Mississippi River and its tributaries, to their floodplain wetlands and backwaters, to the wooded bluffs and upland plains, more than 103,000 acres of publicly accessible natural areas lie within an hour's drive of the Quad Cities metro area. River Action funds projects that improve access, conservation, and education on these Wild Places.

The sheer scope of these natural areas is impressive, but their existence may come as a surprise to even the most avid local naturalists. Many of our best natural areas have been overlooked in favor of promoting our riverfronts and traditional tourist attractions, but interests in eco-tourism and nature-based recreation is now flourishing. The QC Wild Places program serves the residents of and visitors to the counties of Carroll, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, and Whiteside in Illinois and Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott in Iowa. These sites offer hiking, biking, boating, wildlife viewing and photography, camping, fishing, and public events.

River Action has taken up the call to bring natural areas in the Quad Cities region to the attention of its communities and to foster ecotourism to these amazing resources. This effort is called "QC Wild Places."

For more information, click on the WHBF-TV 4 report below.