Volunteers Needed to Track Trails in Des Moines

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines' trail system is one to be proud of with both paved and soft trails. It serves as a hub for the rest of the state connecting over 550 miles of trails in central Iowa.

To keep improving those trails, the Des Moines Parks and Recreation department is asking for volunteers to help with their National Bike and Pedestrian Documentation Project. They need people to sit along some of the trails across the city and tally how many people go by.

Not only are they tracking how many use the trails, but also are helping to hand out surveys to get input back to the city.

They say it’s an easy task and an important one. They need volunteers for the 10th, 11th, and 14th. During the week it's 4:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday it's 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

They have more than 20 locations that have to be filled. Jen Fletcher with Des Moines Parks and Recreation says these surveys and usage counts are for more than just the city's knowledge.

“So for one thing, it helps us gauge the usage of the trail system where people are using it and how they are using it, but it really helps us get grants,” Fletcher said. “We will take these numbers and apply for grants that we can use for further trail segments or maintenance of the trail system.”

Not only are volunteers helping the city's parks and trails out, there’s also some incentives for volunteering.

If you work one shift, you get a $10 of Bike Ped Bucks that can be used at Des Moines parks. If you volunteer twice, you get free registration to the 2020 Mayor's Annual Ride and Run.

If you would like to volunteer. Sign up here.

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