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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How small towns can capitalize on bicycle tourism
Perry, 23 October, 2014

Two nationally-recognized experts on how bicycling can build tourism and economic development in small towns, Laura Crawford and Russ Roca, will be presenting Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Hotel Pattee in Perry. Community leaders, tourism officials and trail advocates from all along the Raccoon River Valley Trail and High Trestle Trail are especially invited to this free seminar. ...

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