PERRY, Iowa -- The first portion of the Raccoon River Valley Trail and High Trestle Trail connector is finally complete. It’s located on 18th Street in Perry, just north of Perry High School.
Instead of gifts for his birthday, 10-year-old Tate Boyd asked for money, but not for himself, for the connector project.
“I ride my bike to school every day and a lot of times over the summer we will ride a bunch of trails and I just love riding my bike so I wanted to help make more trails,” Boyd said.
His donation of $350 helped to complete the first mile and a half of the raccoon river valley trail and high trestle trail connector.
“I kind of put out a match for everybody to match those dollars and sure enough lots of people stepped forward and we turned that $350 into several thousand dollars,” Executive Director of the Dallas County Conservation Board Mike Wallace said.
Once the staff at the Hotel Patee heard Tate’s story, they offered to give donors a free night at the hotel and free admission to Perry’s annual Brr Ride for every $350 donated to the project.
“With that being the kick off for biking every year, that may as well be the kick off for fundraising and what not for this project for the rest of 2019 as well,” Hotel Patee General Manager Aaron Lenz.
Project organizers said they still have seven and a half miles of the connector to complete and still need more than $2 million to finish it.
"It makes it a reality for people especially those that have donated for the project. They see that we really are going to do this and even though it's a mile and a half, it's still a very scenic portion and so already we are going to get a lot of usage out of it," Wallace said.
Boyd said he is really looking forward to riding on this trail and being part of Ragbrai in the future.
“Riding my bike is fun and there’s not many trails, just a few trails that are in the area so going on this one I think is going to be really fun,” Boyd said.
Wallace said they hope to start phase two next year in Woodward.