Metro Planners Seeking Ideas on Waterways Future

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Greater Des Moines Metropolitan Planning Organization has been thinking about what the future could hold for metro water ways.

The group has completed a study called the "Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan." They have looked at the Des Moines River, the Raccoon River, the Middle and North Rivers, as well as the South Skunk. The group also considered Walnut Creek, Four Mile Creek, and Mud Creek.

"We spent the last year kind of listening to the public area leaders, and what they want to do to activate the creeks and rivers in the Des Moines Metro area,” said Teva Dawson, Senior Planner with the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. "We put together a draft plan and our spending for the next month and a half or two months. We'll be going out to different parks and recreation boards and city council's to get feedback on the draft plan.”

The group found potential if low head dams are removed on the Des Moines River. Also, they learned that people want more access to area rivers.

"We couldn't really imagine what paved trails have done for us 20 or 30 years ago,” said Dawson. "We think the same for rivers and creeks in the area. We don't have mountains, we don't have oceans, but we do have is rivers, and it's time to turn towards them and start to find ways we can have joyful experiences within those spaces.”

If you’d like to examine the draft plans, go to the organization’s website.