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If you have questions or would like more information please contact the Rock Island District at (309) 794-5227 or email

Des Moines Recreational River and Greenbelt

The Des Moines Recreational River and Greenbelt (Greenbelt) was authorized by Congress in 1985 to provide central Iowa with recreation facilities. The project covers more than 410,000 acres from Fort Dodge and Webster City in the north to downstream of Red Rock Dam. The primary purposes of projects within the Greenbelt area are recreation, streambank stabilization, and environmental enhancement along the Des Moines, Boone, and Raccoon Rivers.

The the four active projects are described as follows:

Fort Dodge Riverfront - Fort Dodge has completed a Riverfront Master Plan to transform a former industrial area into a recreational development. The Master Plan includes a Greenbelt feature with recreation trails, fishing and boating facilities, and other recreation areas. The preliminary cost estimate for the Corps project is $7.9 million (2010). Planning, design, and construction necessary to develop appropriate recreational facilities is being conducted at a 50% Federal cost share.

Des Moines Riverwalk - The City of Des Moines and The Principal Financial Group have developed a Master Plan for the Des Moines Riverwalk in downtown Des Moines that includes a 1.2 mile multipurpose trail loop with more than 2 miles of connecting trails, bridges, parks, promenades, and related facilities. These facilities are intended to increase interaction with the river and create opportunities to connect adjacent development, neighborhoods, and other trail systems such as the Neal Smith Trail. The current cost estimate for the first phase of development is approximately $28.0 million (2010). The Principal Financial Group has committed resources to the City of Des Moines to help fund a significant portion of this development. Planning, design, and construction to develop authorized recreational facilities are being conducted at a 50% Federal cost share.

Marion County Cordova Center on the Rock - The Marion County Conservation Board, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Central College and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are collectively developing a cooperative environmental learning center and associated facilities at Lake Red Rock. Proposed components of the project include an environmental learning center, performing arts amphitheater, trails, outdoor interpretive facilities, picnic facilities, and entrance road relocation. All of these facilities are to be located on Federal lands. The cost estimate for the Cordova Center development is approximately $36 million. The portion of the Cordova Center designated for use as the environmental learning center is not eligible for cost sharing under current Corps regulations, and will be 100% non-Federally funded. Design and construction of cost-shared facilities will require that a Project Partnership Agreement be signed for a 50% non-Federal cost share.

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 area, at a total estimated 100% Federal cost of $8.3 million ($3.5 million in planning, engineering, design and construction is already complete; $5.8 million is needed to complete the project). The trail is to be located on Federal lands.