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The Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) grants to 22 cities for use in parks and open spaces during its October meeting. The projects were awarded nearly $2.4 million. There were 53 applications for the grants.
The REAP City Parks and Open Space competitive grants help cities establish natural areas, encouraging outdoor recreation and resource management. Cities were separated into three categories: population under 2,000, population 2,000 – 25,000 and population over 25,000.
Cities with populations under 2000
· Columbus Junction, Toddtown Access Boat Landing, $74,106 – The City of Columbus Junction plans to acquire one property for the development of a boat landing which will allow residents to better access and utilize the Iowa River. The property will be developed and will include a boat landing, gravel access road and parking area, and interpretive and directional signage.
· Fairbank, Fairbank Portage and Riverfront Park Development, $75,000 - The City of Fairbank seeks funding for development of recreational amenities along the Little Wapsipinicon River in city owned West Bentley and East Bentley Parks. The proposed project includes the development of a canoe/kayak portage by constructing two kayak/canoe launches - one on the north side and on the south side of Fairbank Dam. The project also includes the construction of a park shelter, adjacent to the proposed portage, and expansion of a river-front recreational trail which is the final section needed to connect all four of the city’s riverfront parks.
· Epworth, East Park Development, $70,820 - This project is the development of a new park. The passive green space will have a picnic area with covered shelter, prairie and native landscaping beds, trees, benches with canopy, bike rack, walking paths and an entrance sign. A proposed water fountain will serve park patrons and walking trail users. A playground will also be added.
· Tiffin, Cities and Classrooms Building a Community, $75,000 - This project is one piece of a larger scale parks development plan for the city. One facet of the master plan is to create a community nature trail. The city extended an opportunity to a middle school STEM class. The students will work with the residents of Tiffin as Civil Engineers to design and build a trail that meets the needs of all stakeholders and connects to a larger community vision.
· Dunkerton, Riverwalk Trail Extension, $50,000 - The City of Dunkerton proposed constructing an extension onto the city’s existing Riverwalk Trail. The proposed trail will add approximately 2,000 linear feet to the existing trail network. The trail route will travel east/west along Crane Creek before turning north/south. The project will also provide a new recreational access point to the residents on the south side, connecting this portion of the city to the natural and recreational amenities in the northern half.
· Dallas Center, Dallas Center Depot Trailhead, $75,000 - This project is expanding on the impact of previous REAP awards, by providing a trailhead with multiuse covered shelter space in conjunction with restrooms. The restrooms will serve the expanding regional cycling community as well as local citizens. The shelter house will be available for use by a multitude of community and cycling events.
· Keosauqua, Keosauqua Loop to Loop Trail, $75,000 - This project will build the Loop to Loop Trail which is a quarter mile multi-use trail is needed as a safe connection along a busy roadway between the future Sunset Loop Trail and the existing Keosauqua Loop and Riverfront Trails.
· Manning, Trestle Park Trail, $29,184 - This project will construct 2,700 feet of concrete trail from Third Street (near downtown), along the West Nishnabotna River and end at the new Trestle Park. Trestle Park will feature an area for children, but primarily focuses on young adults with horseshoes, volleyball, outdoor exercise equipment, shelter house and more. Regional plans are also being developed and this segment would serve as part of the path through Manning when regional trails are developed.
Cities with population from 2,000 to 25,000
· Bellevue, Bellevue South Phase II, $75,000 - Bellevue South Phase II entails acquiring approximately five acres of land adjacent to Mill Creek in Bellevue and developing a trail connecting Phase I to the existing Rivervue Trail along the Mississippi River. Phase I will connect Felderman Park to Bellevue State Park via a pedestrian bridge over Mill Creek. Both phases will be constructed in 2017 as part of the larger $8 million Mississippi Circuit Initiative within the Grant Wood Loop Parks to People program.
· Anamosa, Wapsipinicon Trail – Anamosa portion, $100,000 - The Wapsipinicon Trail will provide a safe pedestrian and bicycle route for residents and visitors between Anamosa and Wapsipinicon State Park. The total trail will be approximately one mile that will run parallel to Shaw Road from Anamosa to the historic Hale Bridge in Wapsipinicon State Park as part of the larger “Crossing the Wapsi” initiative in the Grant Wood Loop Parks to People Master Plan. This application covers the City of Anamosa’s 1,340 feet portion.
· Fort Madison, Connecting Fort Madison! Phase 2 Middle School Connector, $125,000 - This project will be Phase II of the three phase Connecting Fort Madison! trail project being organized by the City of Fort Madison and the local trails group Promoting Outdoor Recreational Trails (PORT) of Fort Madison. Phase 2 of the project will connect the trail built during Phase 1 of the project with 48th Street and the Fort Madison Middle School via an approximately 2,750 foot long concrete multi-use path.
· New Hampton, Garnant Park to Mikkelson Park Multi-Use Path, $75,000 - The proposed project will connect Garnant Park and Mikkelson Park with a multi‐use path for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non‐motorized uses. The path will connect the two parks, a beach area, a campground, a public pool, and adjacent residential neighborhoods using a combination of paved trail segments and on‐road accommodations. This project is a segment of a larger planning effort to develop a cross‐city trail to connect to the High School and Chickasaw Wellness Center.
· Storm Lake, 5th and Russell Park, $60,000 - This project will increase the city’s stock of neighborhood parkland. The acquisition will make this park a much needed destination for a large number of children within a neighborhood that does not have readily available access a neighborhood park.
· Washington, Kewash Nature Trail – Willow Pond Trail Extension, $100,000 - The KeWash Nature Trail is a walking/biking trail that spans 14 miles from Washington to Keota. 1,000 feet west of Hwy. 1 in Washington, the Project will construct a 1,900 foot trail extension around Willow Pond, and north to Lexington Blvd. The project takes place on Washington County property. It adds significantly to Kewash Nature Trail access to Willow Pond fishing hole and natural area, and also connects to new Veterans Memorial, Kirkwood Community College facility, County social service offices, and an affordable housing complex.
· Spencer, Phase II: Iowa Great Lakes Connection Trail, $125,000 - Construction of Phase II of the Iowa Great Lakes Connection Trail. This project will construct 3.2 miles of recreation trail from 10th St. W north to the city limits. This project will complete Phase II of the three phase Iowa Great Lakes Connection Trail from Spencer to The Iowa Great Lakes.
· Carroll, Carroll Recreational Trail – Segment A, $122,218 - The Carroll Recreational Trail Phase I would connect Northeast Park and Veterans Memorial Park in the City. The trail length is approximately 0.8 miles.
Cities larger than 25,000
· Des Moines, Des Moines River Trail Phase 2, $300,000 - This 2.3 mile project presents an opportunity to complete a vital missing link within the city and gain substantial progress towards a significant regional connection. It has strong support from government, citizens and business community proven by its place in regional plans, results of our annual trail count and survey and support letters. The benefits Phase 2 will bring to local and regional citizens are broad, encompassing transportation, health, wellness, recreation, economics and beyond.
· Cedar Rapids, 1000 Acres Pollinator Initiative, $96,480 - Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation with private and public partners are leading a five-year initiative to install up to 1,000 new public land acres of native prairie to support monarch and pollinator populations, as well as soil and watershed conservation within Cedar Rapids and Linn County. This project will fund conversion of 82 acres of city recreational trail greenway from non-native grasslands to native prairie habitat with interpretive signage for an educational walking path.
· Burlington, Riverfront Landing Trail, $150,000 - This project is for approximately a half mile long trail directly adjacent to the Mississippi River in Downtown Burlington. The trail will be the centerpiece of a comprehensive overhaul to the downtown riverfront, turning it from a parking lot into a recreational space. Additionally, this trail will serve as a connector between the regional Flint River Trail and the City’s on-street trail route.
· Waterloo, Boathouse Enhancement, $200,000 - This project involves the construction of enhancements to the Waterloo Boathouse located on the Cedar River. The improvements include a scenic river overlook, patio, pedestrian and parking lighting, bicycle racks, 10-foot-wide trail to connect the boathouse to the nearby shelter, restroom, and city trail system, and paved parking lot. The proposed enhancements were identified in the Waterloo Boathouse Master Plan.
· Ankeny, High Trestle Trail Extension – SW Ordnance Road to SE Magazine, $200,000 - Extend the High Trestle Trail 0.56 mile from its current terminus at SW Ordnance Road to SE Magazine. This project includes the construction of 10 foot wide recreation trail along abandoned railroad line, similar to the previous segments of the trail. The proposed segment will include crossing Ankeny Boulevard and will terminate at SE Magazine, where it will connect with existing 8 foot community trail.
· Dubuque, Valentine Park Expansion – Land Acquisition, $140,790 - The project involves acquisition of eight adjoining acres to expand Valentine Park to 19 acres on Dubuque’s southwest side. The park includes: public restroom, softball field, hard surface play equipment, picnic tables, grill, and bike/hike path.