The state has approved “Greet Places” grants for five projects that will help build on improvements in their areas. Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs spokesman Jeff Morgan says one grant goes to help with the Trestle Park Plan in Manning.
“The park revolves around a 102-year-old historic railroad trestle that is a local icon and is quickly becoming a state icon,” Morgan says. “They’ve already been through phase one, which included removing the former feed mill on the property, building a shelter house and installing a train-themed informational kiosk, trail, road, parking, lighting, and a large Iowa sculpture.”
He says the sculpture has become a place where people like to take photographs. He says the $31,000 grant will help them move further develop the park.
“This particular phase two project will find Iowa State University working with project leaders on concepts for public art, providing specific instructions to students to design art pieces that are interactive or served an additional purpose for the area,” according to Morgan.
The city of Elgin in eastern Iowa received a $216,000 grant to built a bridge for the Turkey River Recreational Corridor Trail. “That’ll start at the eastern side of Elgin and it will cross over the Turkey River to connect to the 900-acre conservation education area called Gilbertson Park and three Turkey River accesses called ‘The Narrows,'” he explains. The total project cost is nearly $1.5 millions.
The Linn County Conservation Board won a grant of $400,000 for continues improvements tot he Pinicon Ridge Park. “The park serves as an anchor at the north end of the Cedar-Wapsi Recreational Byway and is a popular destination for outdoor recreation activities,” Morgan says. The park has some 350,000 visitors each year that contribute an estimated $8.7 million to the local economy. The project renovated the site of a former park shop facility into a scenic overlook with a view of the Wapsipinicon River.
The latest phase adds a large open shelter. Morgan says, “It’ll hold up to about 300 people and be accessible with modern restrooms and a gathering space to support large group activities and functions.” The total project will cost around $4.2 million.
The Harvester II Arts & Culture Center in the South Main arts and culture district of Council Bluffs was awarded a grant of $400,000.
“They are renovating the historic Harvester Two building in Council Bluffs a little over 50,000 square-foot arts and culture center that’s going to offer art programs for all ages –but especially low-income youth,” according to Morgan. Renovation includes the addition of a 245 seat theater that will be shared by American Midwest Ballet, the Chanticleer Theater, the Kitchen Council, community partners and arts education programs. The project cost is $22.552 million.
The other grant went to Madison County to help rebuild the Cedar Covered Bridge.
Photo courtesy of the Turkey River Recreational Corridor Trail website.