A group whose mission is to connect more Iowans with outdoor recreation is meeting today in Cedar Falls. Peter Komendowski, one of the organizers of the Iowa Trails Summit, notes Iowa already has a great combination of biking, hiking and water trails.

“The landscape of Iowa is covered with rivers – we’re very, very rich in the resource of rivers and streams. The green spaces along those rivers and streams have all sorts of trails and trails opportunities,” Komendowski said. “We have a pretty good state park and county park system. And we’ve been dedicated to bike trails in this state as long as anyone in the country.”

Although Iowa has well over 1,000 miles of biking trails, there’s growing demand for longer trails connecting multiple counties. But, purchasing the land for the trails is expensive.

“One of the greatest challenges has been how do we maintain an industrialized agricultural posture – because that’s our primary business in Iowa – at the same time, provide green space and recreational opportunities? Farmers and people with rural lands have been real good about maintaining green spaces for the health of the environment and the access for people to enjoy recreation,” Komendowski said.

The Iowa Trails Summit is taking place today on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The event is hosted by the nonprofit group Friends of Iowa Trails. Tomorrow, a free “family fun day” is planned at Riverview Recreation Area in Waterloo.

Learn more online at: www. iowatrailssummit.org.