Des Moines Recreational River and Greenbelt, Iowa (Recreation)

Rock Island District
Published Oct. 30, 2023
Fort Dodge Greenbelt Trail

Fort Dodge Greenbelt Trail


From Fort Dodge to Pella, Iowa


The Des Moines Recreational River & Greenbelt is a partnership of local and federal governments and private interests dedicated to developing ecosystem improvements and recreational opportunities in the Des Moines River corridor. Projects are submitted and approved through the Greenbelt Advisory Committee which is composed of appointed members from the State, County and Municipalities within the Greenbelt boundary.


Federal funds were appropriated to the Greenbelt Program from FY 2003 through FY 2010 and a total of 18 projects were completed. Additional funding was received in FY 2017 and will be used to complete construction of 3 projects.


To date there have been 21 projects constructed under the Greenbelt Program since authorization. Three projects were funded and constructed with the FY 2017 allocation; they are:

  • Des Moines Riverwalk - The Des Moines Riverwalk Master Plan that includes a 1.2-mile multipurpose trail loop with more than 2 miles of connecting trails, bridges, parks, promenades, and related facilities.
  • Fort Dodge Riverfront - Fort Dodge's Riverfront Master Plan calls for the transformation of a former industrial area into a recreational development, which includes multiple use trails, fishing and boating facilities and other recreation amenities. The project currently has approximately 3.25 miles of trail with the potential to expand the trail further into Webster County in the future.
  • Red Rock Volksweg Trail Segment 4B - This four-mile-long trail segment connects the North Overlook Campground and the City of Pella with the Cordova Park area.

The Greenbelt Advisory Committee met in 2018 and 2019 and confirmed two additional projects for development on the current list of identified projects. The projects awaiting funding are:

  • Marion County Cordova Trail Segment - The Marion County Conservation Board operates Cordova Park. Proposed components of the project include a trail segment to connect the completed Volksweg 4B trail segment to State Hwy 14. Other feature would include trail spurs across County Hwy G-28 connecting Roberts Creek Campground to the Volksweg trail system. All facilities are to be located on Federal lands. Preparation of an Engineering Documentation Report (EDR) with construction cost estimate will begin when additional funding is received.
  • Fort Dodge Riverfront Phase II - Webster County would be the sponsor for this project. Proposed project would extend the trail system from the end of the Fort Dodge Stage II trail to point near US Hwy 20. This project would be cost-shared with Webster County 50/50. Preparation of an EDR with construction cost estimate will begin when additional funding is received.

CG - Construction General
Public Law 99-88, Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1985, Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference accompanying the Conference Report for H.R. 2577; Sec. 203 of the Flood Control Act of 1958 as modified by Sec. 111 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 1976; Sec. 102 of PL 99-500; Sec. 604 of WRDA 1986; Sec. 122 of PL 108-7; Sec. 14221, FCE&E Act 2008; Sec. 115, PL 111-85 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2010; and Sec. 4013, PL 113-121 WRRDA 2014

Additional Information

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost

$ 89,606,245

Estimated Non-Federal Cost

$ 48,249,516

Estimated Total Project Cost

$ 137,855,761

Allocations Prior to FY 2023

$ 52,082,460

FY 2023 Allocation

$ 0

FY 2024 Allocation


FY 2024 President’s Budget

$ 0

FY 2024 Total Capability



Major Work Items Prior Fiscal Year

FY 2023: The project moved forward with fiscal closeout of Red Rock Volksweg Trail Segment 4B and Fort Dodge Riverfront Projects.

Major Work Items Current Fiscal Year

FY 2024: If funded, work will begin Marion County Cordova Trail Segment and Fort Dodge Riverfront Phase II planning and Engineering Documentation Report.