The fundraising campaign took a major jump forward with the largest non-government donation ever for the Raccoon River Valley Trail, a $100,000 donation from the W.T. and Edna M. Dahl Trust in Des Moines.  Several other key donors in the metro area have contributed, too.  The $1.044-million goal to build "Waukee Railroad Pergola -- in the shadow of the rails" now seems reachable, particularly with applications just now going out for several major grants from state government and other charitable foundations. Meanwhile, local governments in most communities along the RRVT have endorsed having a "unified art theme" at their trailheads, they like the "in the shadow of the rails" idea, and are now supporting a strong regional approach to all this. The initiative's leader Jim Miller says the intent is "to have the entire trail become a destination."

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An Iowa school making good use of its nearby trail
Arnolds Park, Iowa, 7 October, 2014

Check what's happening at Okoboji Middle School on the Iowa Great Lakes Trail in northwest Iowa. And then think what might be possible with the seven school districts along our Raccoon River Valley Trail in west central Iowa. Oh, it can be fun! And it can help introduce new generations to the glories of bicycling and other forms of outdoor recreation and education, especially on our trails. ...

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