The Raccoon River Valley Trail, which ties together three counties and 14 communities in west central Iowa, on Thursday was recognized as one of five new “Iowa Great Places.” And the honor came with notification of a $200,000 state grant that will help build the major public art installation being planned at the Waukee traiilhead. That serves as the southeastern gateway to the RRVT from the trails coming out of the Des Moines metro area.
The designation and grant are “a huge shot in the arm,” said Jim Miller, chairperson of the Public Art Committee which has been spearheading the project for the City of Waukee, the Waukee Arts Council and the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association.
The grant means that the committee has now raised more than $600,000 toward the $1.01-million cost of the massive “Waukee Railroad Pergola — in the shadow of the rails.”
Designed by acclaimed sculptor David Dahlquist and his team at RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines, the colorful “pergola” structure will be 340 feet long, with a canopy that will be 15 feet tall and 18 feet wide. But there is also a shade sculpture, a building with public restrooms that is already in place, a parking area, and a “colonade” of lighted “bollards” along U.S. Highway 6.
You can read more about the installation — and how its artistic theme will be stretched the whole length of the RRVT — in this story: http://raccoonrivervalleytrail.org/blog/2014/08/07/now-we-start-considering-public-art-installations-on-the-rrvt/ .
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