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Making the Water Trails a Vibrant Part of DSM USA

Water Trails and Recreation in DSM USA

October 13, 2017

Greater Des Moines (DSM) is made up of 150 miles of creeks and rivers including the Raccoon River and Des Moines River. The question is: how can we better utilize our waterways and make them an attraction for all ages to use?

A Plan for DSM Water Trails

In Downtown DSM, the Des Moines River features several dams, which can make upstream flooding worse and prevents recreational use on the river. We’re exploring options to mitigate the dams as part of the Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenway Plan. It’s the region’s vision for developing a network of water trails throughout DSM.

As part of the plan, the Water Trails Engineering Study is underway and engineers are zeroing in on what is technically feasible for projects throughout DSM, including the mitigation of the Downtown dams. It’s expected to be completed by early 2018.

The goal is to make the water trails system a vibrant part of our community.

The public is invited to learn what the engineering teams have learned thus far, as well as provide feedback on how the projects are taking shape.

Dam Debate III

THE DAM DEBATE III will start with a short presentation to be followed by a panel discussion. The event will primarily focus on recommendations for mitigating the low-head dams on the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers in Downtown DSM, although a brief overview of other regional projects will be provided.

12-1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, Des Moines Register Community Room, 400 Locust St., Des Moines.

Regional Open Houses

REGIONAL OPEN HOUSES will be held throughout the metro, offering people a chance to learn about the concept and feasibility for recommended projects throughout the region. There is no formal presentation; information will be presented via poster boards. People are free to come and go at their convenience.

5:30 – 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, Crown Point Community Center, 6300 Pioneer Pkwy., Johnston

7:30 – 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, the Lodge at Walnut Woods State Park, 3155 SE Walnut Woods Dr., West Des Moines

5:30 – 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, Riley Resource Group, 4400 E. University Ave., Pleasant Hill

5:30 – 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, Des Moines Register Community Room, 400 Locust St., Des Moines

The Metropolitan Planning Organization has engaged the services of two teams to accomplish the engineering study. One team, ISG Engineering and Architecture, is working on the proposed projects throughout the region. The McLaughlin Whitewater Group, with local subcontractors RDG and HDR, will tackle the unique and challenging constraints of the water trail recommendations for Downtown DSM.

For more information, please visit dmampo.org/water-trails, call (515) 334-0075 or email info@dmampo.org.

Gunnar Olson

Gunnar Olson has built on his background as an experienced journalist to earn a reputation as an engaging, trusted and articulate spokesperson and leader for causes important to Greater Des Moines (DSM). As communications manager for the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, he strives to make the MPO, its expert staff and valuable research more accessible to the media, community leaders and other organizations - and ultimately elevate community conversations about the region's future. Prior to joining the MPO, he was the public affairs manager for the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) and a staff writer with The Des Moines Register.