The public is invited to a pair of history tours on the Des Moines River this month to learn how residents have interacted with this important natural resource over the past 150 years. Tours include:
Paddling Tour – 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 23. Meet at Birdland Park, 2100 Saylor Road, Des Moines. Shuttles to and launching from Prospect Park, 1225 Prospect Road, Des Moines. Lifejackets are required and will be provided. Pairing with experienced paddlers recommended. Register here.
Pontoon Tour – 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 30. Meet at Birdland Park, 2100 Saylor Road, Des Moines. Shuttles to and launching from Prospect Park, 1225 Prospect Road, Des Moines. Space is limited. Register here.
The tour guide and speaker for both tours will be John Wenck of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Each tour will feature the same content and include a stop for refreshments and a tour of the Curt Systma and Ellen King Huntoon House, a restored Victorian house with a beach on the river.
The tours are part of an effort to engage the public in a community conversation about the future of approximately 150 miles of creeks and rivers in central Iowa. A master plan for improving the water trails and nearby greenways in the Greater Des Moines region is being developed by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Once complete, the master plan will provide a long-range regional vision for how individuals, governments and other organizations can collaborate to improve the region’s waterways for better recreation, enhanced conservation and improved economic vitality.
The public can weigh in on the water trails plan with a new online engagement tool, a game-like website at watertrails.designmydsm.com. The public engagement will continue throughout this summer. Click here for event listings and details.
Additional details about the planning process and community events can be found on the water trails project page at dmampo.org/water-trails. For more information, please call MPO staff at 515-334-0075.