The Des Moines Recreational River and Greenbelt Program (Greenbelt) was authorized by Congress in 1985 to provide recreation, streambank stabilization, and environmental enhancement along the Des Moines, Boone, and Raccoon Rivers. The project covers more than 410,000 acres from the Fort Dodge/Webster City, Iowa, area in the north to downstream area of Lake Red Rock Dam.
The two active projects are described as follows:
Fort Dodge Riverfront - As part of an effort to transform a former industrial area in Fort Dodge, Iowa, into a recreational space, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District is assisting with construction of trails, fishing and boating facilities, and other recreational areas. The estimated cost of the project is $7.1 million and will be funded through a 50% federal cost-share. Stage I of the project was completed in August 2014 and included a 2-mile trail connection to Central Avenue, a concrete boat ramp, kayak portages and low dam, and parking lots along 1st Street. Stage 2 construction began in August 2018 and is scheduled for completion in Spring 2020. This stage includes two multipurpose trails.
Red Rock Multi-Purpose Trail - Segment 4B - The Segment 4B project includes a 4-mile trail extension to an existing 13-mile Volksweg Trail which runs along the north side of Lake Red Rock. The 4B trail segment will connect Lake Red Rock's North Overlook Campground to the city of Pella, Iowa, and Cordova Park. The cost estimate for the 4B project is approximately $8.9 million and will be covered 100% by federal funding due the trail being constructed on federal lands. Approximately 1.25 miles of the project was completed in Spring 2014. The remaining 2.75 miles of trail is currently under construction and is estimated for completion in Spring 2020.
Completed in Fiscal Year 2019:
Des Moines Riverwalk - The city of Des Moines, Iowa, in cooperation with Principal Financial Group developed a plan called the Des Moines Riverwalk that included a 1.2-mile multipurpose trail loop with more than two miles of connecting trails, bridges, parks, promenades, and related facilities. These facilities were designed to increase interaction with the river and connections to adjacent development, neighborhoods, and other recreation areas such as the Neal Smith Trail. The cost of this project was estimated at $30.7 million and was funded thought a 50% federal cost-share. Principal Financial Group supplied funding to the city of Des Moines to support construction of a significant portion of this development.