’Bluffs, Brooks & Byways’ spotlights local businesses, landmarks and more in Northeast Iowa
A harvester drives along the Grant Wood Scenic Byway north of Maquoketa. The byway and stops along its route will be featured in “Bluffs, Brooks & Byways,” a podcast recently launched by Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development (NEIA RC&D) recently launched a podcast highlighting local businesses, historic landmarks and environmental education.
The podcast, known as Bluffs, Brooks & Byways, provides local residents with the opportunity to listen and grow their awareness of their own communities, but also encourages other travelers to go and explore everything Northeast Iowa has to offer.
Past podcasts have featured stops along with Grant Wood Scenic Byway, and more are scheduled, said Morgan Thias, podcast host.
“Being able to go out and connect with business owners, historians, conservation educators and even residents of the area has been such a heartwarming adventure. Everyone has something they truly are passionate about and I am so honored to be the one that shares that,” said Thias, who also is Communication and Outreach Specialist for NEIA RC&D. “Not to mention, our part of the state is pretty incredible and getting an inside exclusive on all things Iowa is an added bonus.”
Thias, who recently was recording episodes in Bellevue, also noted that the podcast is open to new ideas and can be contacted anytime to set up an interview.
The podcast aims to positively impact the Grant Wood Scenic Byway through increased tourism efforts. Each week, the podcast introduces a new guest or location along the Scenic Byway. Within each 20-30-minute episode, the interview covers anything from personal stories and small business successes to tips and tricks about conservation and recreational related activities. Additionally, a few episodes feature educational oral histories of nearby landmarks and museums. Since the beginning, the podcast has highlighted the National Motorcycle Museum and Hurstville Interpretive Center.
“I really appreciated Morgan reaching out to highlight the Hurstville Interpretive Center. There are so many great things our center has to offer — from historical, educational and fun for kids. Being able to highlight all those aspects is a great opportunity for us,” said Jessica Wagner, Jackson County Conservation. “Additionally, any way to spread awareness and showcase our region is an added bonus for both the Interpretive Center and local tourism.”
Promoting tourism, recreation and business development has become a crucial piece in ensuring the small communities continue to thrive. Those interested in listening to Bluffs, Brooks & Byways, can find it where they normally listen to podcasts (such as Apple Podcast or Spotify) or through the direct link https://anchor.fm/bluffsbrooksbyways.
NEIA RC&D is a small nonprofit located in Postville, Iowa, that serves seven counties in Iowa — Allamakee, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek — in addition to Byways that travel through Jackson, Jones & Delaware Counties. Their mission is to recognize opportunities and provide leadership to make Northeast Iowa a vibrant, place-based model for the nation.