The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is making a final push to raise money to pay for an Ankeny to Woodward recreational trail the features a unique bridge. Spokesperson, Lisa Hein, says nine public entities are working with the foundation to establish the 25-mile trail.
She says they have a one-point-75-million dollar state challenge grant from Vision Iowa, and to get those funds, they need to raise $550,000 by December 10th. The $550,000 is part of an overall goal to reach a one-million-dollar goal by next July, and they have about $90,000 left to raise.
Hein says a large portion of the trail has already been completed, but the centerpiece bridge remains to be built. Hein says there’s about three miles of trail left to complete along with the bridge over the Des Moines River, which will be a half mile long and 13 stories high, and provide "spectacular views of the Des Moines River Valley."
Hein says the bridge in itself is expected to draw a lot of interest. "From what we can tell it will be the fifth largest trail bridge in the world, it will be open to pedestrians and bicyclists," Hein says. She says there are some bridges that are longer, and some higher, but the combination of both make it one of the most unique in the midwest.
Hein says you can donate on-line at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s website . She says they have a direct link on the site to the project, or you can call their office at: 515-288-1846. The foundation is also holding information meetings called the "Bridge Blitz" in cities along the trail as the fundraising deadline approaches.
Here is a meeting schedule: Ankeny, Tuesday, December 2nd at 7 p.m., at Lakeside Center in Hawkeye Park; in Madrid Thursday, December 4th at 7 p.m., at the Madrid Public Library, and in Sheldahl/Slater on Monday, December 8th, at Heritage Hall in Slater.