In 1982, Mark Borkrem of Fyre Lake, Illinois, and Al Hass of Davenport, Iowa, had a casual conversation centered around conservation and its by-products. Both were members of local conservation clubs and felt that despite considerable efforts by their clubs and dedicated sportsmen in the area, not enough was being done to support local conservation efforts.
As a result of this initial conversation, the two men created a plan to band local conservation clubs together and host an outdoor exhibition show. Representatives from the various clubs would then decide together how the money raised from the show would be donated to conservation efforts in the community.
Six years after the first QCCA Outdoor Show made its debut in the old Zayre Store (formerly the Watch Tower Plaza Expo Building in Rock Island) the QCCA moved their event to a new exhibition hall at the former Rimco property in Rock Island.
In 1987, Jack White, operator of J.M. White Investigation Services of Rock Island was managing the Rimco property for owner John, ’Jack’ Titcomb who was a descendant of the Weyerhauser lumber family and had used the property for many years for the lumber industry.
Mr. White had been a tremendous help to the QCCA during their inaugural show at the Rimco property, and had conveyed his opinion to Mr. Titcomb. As the group was planning for the next year's show, Mr. Titcomb informed them that he would like to donate the property if the QCCA was willing to continue their efforts and maintain the facility for generations to come.
The QCCA immediately completed the proper paperwork to get their 501-3C non-profit status and Mr. Titcomb transferred ownership of the property to the newly created Quad City Conservation Alliance Inc. Today, the QCCA continues to own and operate the Rimco property as the QCCA Expo Center and donates thousands of dollars raised each year at the facility to local conservation efforts.
In August 2013, the QCCA acquired another property known as the QCCA Wetlands Center. It was donated by the Dowsett family for use as a conservation, research and education facility. Since acquiring the property, the QCCA has allowed many local civic organizations and educational groups to use the area for scientific studies and habitat development projects.