Bellevue Recreation Initiative Gaining Momentum

The City of Bellevue has been awarded a grant of $75,000 from Resource Enhancement and Protection commonly referred to as REAP.

REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect the Iowa’s natural and cultural resources. 15% of REAP is set aside for grants to cities for projects that help establish natural areas, encourage outdoor recreation and resource management.

The grant money will be used for an expansion of the Felderman Park Trail connecting the existing City of Bellevue trail system to the Bellevue State Park trail system with the help of a pedestrian bridge over Mill Creek. This project aims to better connect the residents and visitors to Bellevue to the great natural and recreation spaces along the scenic Mississippi River. Joining three existing trails and two water trails including the Felderman Park trail system, a pedestrian bridge across Mill Creek to connect to the Quarry Trail in Bellevue State Park, connecting with the existing Rivervue Trail system along the riverfront, and lastly connecting the Mill Creek and Mississippi River water trail.

This critical connection in Bellevue is part of the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region’s “Mississippi Circuit”, which will culminate with in the coming year with a bike route from Bellevue to Mines of Spain State Park outside Dubuque along Highway 52. The Grant Wood Mississippi River Region is the pilot region for the State of Iowa and Iowa Parks Foundation’s Parks to People program. The goal of the Parks to People program is to employ public-private partnerships and local planning to connect citizens to nature and improve parks across the state.

In its 27 years, REAP has benefited every county in Iowa by supporting over 15,000 projects. REAP has funded these projects with $250 million in state investments, leveraging two to three times the amount in private, local and federal dollars. Collectively, these projects have improved the quality of life for all Iowans with better soil and water quality; added outdoor recreation opportunities; sustained economic development; enhanced knowledge and understanding of our ecological and environmental assets, and preservation of our cultural and historic treasures.

REAP has benefitted this area greatly over 27 years. Bellevue has received REAP funding of $300,000 over the past 5 years to support quality of life efforts in Bellevue, and Jackson County as a whole has received $5,759,953 since the program’s inception in 1989. In Anamosa, the Wapsipinicon Trail also was awarded a REAP grant of $100,000; and Dubuque was awarded $140,790 for the expansion of Valentine Park. These projects are also part of the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region’s efforts.