Governor takes tour as hiking trail, bridge officially opened in Bellevue
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BELLEVUE, Iowa — Mary Felderman smiled widely at the crowd gathered Wednesday to officially open a hiking trail and bridge named for her family.As warm sunshine filtered through the colorful leaves on the hillsides of Bellevue State Park and as Big Mill Creek burbled under the sturdy concrete-and-iron bridge, Felderman told well-wishers, “It’s a happy day for me,” and took credit for the perfect weather.
She and her late husband, Donald, sold the land to Bellevue for Felderman Park on the city’s southern edge.A key component linking that park and the state park is the graceful bridge. It not only connects municipal and state recreation sites and completes about 10 miles of pedestrian/bike trails around Bellevue, but it also connects Bellevue’s parks to Dubuque’s Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, 22 miles to the north.
It is all part of Iowa’s Parks to People program. The Grant Wood Loop, which includes Dubuque, Jackson and Jones counties, is the pilot for the program, with the counties’ stakeholders required to match by 5 to 1 the state’s investment of $1.9 million. The region did far better, and in the past three years, officials have secured $52 million, or about 25 to 1, of funding for dozens of projects to “create a regional arts, cultural and recreational destination,” according to Dave Heiar, director of Jackson County Economic Alliance and community coach for the Grant Wood Loop .(full article)
BY MARY NEVANS PEDERSON For the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, October 26, 2017
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