Sioux City’s Shepherd’s Garden project is giving back a grant it was recently awarded from the Vision Iowa board.
A spokesman has notified the board it is declining the award as the project has closed its funding gap with other private donations.
Shepherd’s Garden will be a public greenspace and spiritual garden at the former downtown YWCA site.
The proposal included the placement of Christian symbols within the park, which is why, in its award, the Vision Iowa board stipulated that public funds could not be used for the religious elements of the project.
A Wisconsin based group had objected to the Vision Iowa grant, saying state money should not be used for a project with religious themes.
Tina Hoffman of the state economic development department says the Vision Iowa board is pleased that Shepherd’s Garden has had additional success in raising private funds.
“Not only will the Sioux City project move forward, but now funding is available to assist other deserving projects.”