2019 Annual Report

Page 1




Linn County Trails ASSOCIATION

Trail Connections

A newsletter published by the Linn County Trails Association

February 2020




Photo by Michelle Steele — Pleasant Creek Cover photo by Ben Kaplan Photo — Indian Creek Nature Center Back page photo by Staci Schlitz — Squaw Creek Park



Kevin Kirchner | President

Dean Barnum

Kyle Lundberg

Phillip Platz | Vice-President

Dave Dechant

Dick Mundy

Nick Jorgensen | Treasurer

Vicky Evans

Larry Scott

Brad Mullin | Secretary

Paul Fiegen

Keith Sutherland

Tom Peffer | Past-President

Jim Fraise

John Wauer

Diane Handler

Dick Woodward

Steve Hershner


Brandon Whyte


Brent Neighbor

Michelle Barker

Ron McGraw

Dennis Goemaat

Curt Eilers

Esther Wilson

Kesha Billings

Ed Holstrom

Mike Wilson

Board meetings are on the second Monday of every month (except July and December) at the City of Cedar Rapids Water Administration Building (1111 Shaver Road NE). All board meetings are open to the public.

HAPPY TRAILS! Greetings everyone, The winter months in Iowa are a perfect time to reflect back on the prior year and thank everyone for their generous financial support.

2019 Expenses (e) & Income (i)

The trail movement in Linn County is as strong as ever — and gaining momentum! There are many trail projects in the planning phase, but from an excitement standpoint, many are also in the midst

$13,329 $45,000


of construction. With an emphasis on connectivity, trails are bringing Linn County communities together, opening up recreational opportunities to more


residents, and providing better commuting options for area bikers. Our annual report highlights some of the projects that Linn County Trails Association was directly involved in last year. Your generous donation to

Grants Distributed (e) Operating Expenses (e) Gifts for Trail Development (i) Member Support (i)

LCTA provided the resources for our organization to assist with these projects. Your support shows there is an active coalition of trail supporters, critical to achieve continued funding for and development of a connected system of trails in Linn County.

2019 Year-End Balances Operations........................$14,981 Trail Development............$59,869

As President of LCTA, I would like to personally thank each of you for your donation. You are directly responsible for “Making Trails Happen.” With a successful 2019 behind us, we look forward to new trail opportunities in 2020. Thank you for your support and please continue your support as we ride, stomp, and roll our way through 2020. Sincerely,

Kevin Kirchner President, LCTA

Photo by Sherry Petersen — Cedar Lake

THANK YOU! Rick & Linden Aerts Allan Alcock Nancy & Brice Anton-Jensen Daniel & Marianne Arndorfer LeAnn Arnold Jeff Bales Margo Ballou Fred & Ruth Balster Dale Bappe Sarah Barber Michael Barkalow Chuck & Jan Barnes Greg & Teresa Barnett Dean & Janice Barnum Joel Barnum Gerry & Kathy Barr Gordon & Jann Baustian Jim Bazan David & Susan Benderson Susan Bennett Kesha & Darin Billings Bob Blockhus

2019 Accomplishments • More than 2,000 friends of LCTA • 12 Farmers’ Markets Attended • 433 Bikes Parked at Farmers’ Markets • $25,000 Gift to Friends of Linn County for Morgan Creek County Park Trail Project • $15,000 Gift to ConnectCR • $5,000 Gift to Corridor MPO for CR Bike Share Program • New Membership Software Implemented

Clarence Boesenberg Jon Bogert Mark Borchardt Richard & Diane Bradford Sheila Brakhahn Terry & Linda Brecht Scott & Eileen Britten Martin Bruns John & Judy Bryant Alan Buck Jeffrey & Diane Buffo Susan Bullis Bob & Lois Buntz Tony Burton Richard & Donna Butikofer Robert & Sharon Caldwell Carol & Bill Calloway

Photo by Marianne Satinsky — Prairie Park Fishery

David & Alexandria Carey

Linn County Trails Association appreciates all of its members and those whose financial support in 2019 helped to Make Trails Happen!

Mysak, Rick & Carrie

Ron & Pat Gonder

John & Pamela Van Heukelom

John Chaimov

Kathy Good

Jim & Ann Hoffman

Steve & Mary Chamberlin

Mark Goodsmith

Wayne & Anna Holstine

Jeanne Chelikowsky

Marilyn Gott

Ed & Becky Holstrom

Jane Christiansen

Arthur Hackett

Brian & Sandy Holterhaus

Bob & Paulette Clark

Stephen & Joanne Hammes

Robert Van Horn

Michael & Lois Coates

John & Pat Hancock

Dale & Ann Horner

Ken & Becky Collier

Diane Handler & Robert Becker

Gerald & Theresa Houlihan

Ray & Mary Collins

Tork & Lynn Harman

Jane Scheer & Robin Hursh

Nicholas Consoles Photo by Rebecca Kendall — Grant Wood Trail

Paul & Nancy Craig Bill & Mary Cummings Ronald Daly Jerry & Nancy Danforth James & Diane Daubenmier David & Kathy Dechant Scott Devore Vic & Lee Ann Dielschneider Brian & Teri Donnelly Mary & Steve Doty Richard & Mary Doyle Amy Dudgeon John Dulle David & Jan Dvorak Karen Elias Larry & Marsha Erb Larry Erenberger Alan Erickson Robert & Linda Erlandson David & Carolyn Evans

The Grant Wood Trail was graded and widened east of Marion in 2018–2019. Future projects will continue the hard-surface trail connection from Marion to Springville, and — one day — to the Mississippi River.

Vicky Evans Brian Farrell

Susan Hartley

Jonathan & Karla Ice

Paul Fiegen

Ed & Marlene Hayek

Greg & Linda Januska

John Fletcher

Roger Heidt

David Jeffries

Michael Forcier

Sue Henderson

Linda Jennings

Robert & Susan Frederick

Bill Henricksen

Charles & Mary Johnson

Leland Freie

Doug & Janet Henry

Doug Johnson

Dick & Deb George

Stan & Sharon Henson

Nicholas Jorgensen

Charley Gerard

John & Nancy Herring

James Kaas

Dennis Gladhill

Steve & Marta Hershner

Dan & Julie Kaspari

A SAFE RIDE FOR THOSE IN NEED When the Cedar Rapids bike-share program launched last summer, several new riders were introduced to trails in Linn County. This opportunity to share the best of our trail system with visitors and first-time local riders alike was matched with questions regarding rider safety. Folks who would be using the new bike-share program may not be expected to bring a helmet with them — either because they didn’t own one, or because they didn’t think to bring theirs along with them on their trip to Cedar Rapids. Additionally, new riders might be unfamiliar with the rules of the road, bike lanes, hand signals, and where to ride in the downtown area.

photos contributed

Alliance, and the Wellmark Foundation in providing funds to produce a series of educational safety videos and furnish MIPS helmets for riders in need. More than 350 helmets were provided at the bike-share launch event, at bike shops, and the tourism center for system users who did not already have access to a helmet. The helmets were furnished with LCTA and other partner logos. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It is a technology found inside the helmet, generally between the comfort padding and the EPS (a high-quality foam used to reduce energy). MIPS is known to reduce harmful forces transmitted to the brain for impacts common in bicycle accidents. According to MIPSprotection.com, “Injury statistics show that when you fall and hit your head, it’s most common to fall at an angle, compared to a linear fall. “Falling at an angle creates rotational motion and science has shown that our brains are very sensitive to rotational forces. In an angled impact, these forces may transfer to your brain, which can cause severe injuries. The MIPS BPS can reduce the rotational motion and reduce the risk of brain damage.”

LCTA joined the MedQuarter, Czech Village New Bohemia District, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic

Thanks to the generous support of our members throughout the years, funds outside of our trails development category were available to support the safety of these new riders and promote LCTA.

2019 Trail Supporters, continued

Art & Joyce Kelsey

Kay Nelson

Craig Rairdin

Stephen Kemble

Jane & Bruce Nesmith

Mark Ramsey

Kevin & Gail Kennedy

Mark Niday

Robert Rasmussen

Larry & Carole Kerr

Cynthia Nielsen

Amy Reasner

Kevin Kirchner

Norm Nielsen

Larry Reeve

Christine & Roger Kirpes

Don Norton

Allyssa Rentschler

Jim & Barbara Klein

Ron & Sue Olson

Randall & Eleonora Rieck

Dawn Klohs

Scott & Penny Olson

Byron Riley

Roger Kolb

Scott Overland

Steve Rinderknecht

Kelle Kolkmeier

Sarah Pauley

Kurt Rogahn

Edward Kosowski

Carroll Reasoner & Tom Peffer

Gary Roling

Larry & Mary Kramer

John Persick

Michael D. Roling

Rita Krebill

Bev & Ian Philpott

John & Karen Roltgen

Don & Norma Kvindlog

John Pillings

Jesse Rosenquist

Jeff Lake

Phillip Platz

Bob Rush & Judi Whetstine Rush

Marilyn LeFebure

Paul Pompi

William (Duffy) & Belva

Bob & Judy Lehman

Diane & Larry Potter


Bruce & Kim Lehrman

Kim Powers

Gerald Scherrman

Ann Leland

Don & Barbra Pulkrab

Howard & Sheri Schiffer

Erlandson, Robert & Linda Steven & Lisa Loesch Alma Long Donna Lubben Laura & Kyle Lundberg Monagan, James & Rose Marie Steve & Denise Maze Sally & Dan McAleer Rex McCright Otis McGowan Gary & Laura McGraw Ron McGraw Robert McKillip Laura Meade Bob & Susie Moran Terry Morgan Ed & Barbara Mumford Barbara Murphy Bob & Sharon Neilly Gregg Nelson

Photo by Nicole Roth Cedar Valley Nature Trail

2019 Trail Supporters, continued Mark Schile

Terry Strait

Bryan & Gayla Wesner

Mollie Schlue

Kevin & Shannon Strobel

Reta Westercamp

Henry & Barbara Schmoll

Carlolyn Stucker

Keith Whipple

Lin Schulte

Keith & Nancy Sutherland

Earl & Penny White

Brian & Molly Scott

Carole Teator

Philip Wiley

Larry Scott

Byron & Sheryl Thompson

Brad Willhite

Kirschen Seah

Kendall Thurm

Gail & Paul Williams

Mark & Anne Seidl

Jack & Lori Tibbs

Mike & Esther Wilson

Janice Sevey

Bruce & Lynn Tiemann

Jim & Barbara Wing

Jamie Shea

Mike Tow

Craig & Candy Wood

Joe Sheller

Robert & Ann Tow

Mike & Jo Woods

Jim Shimek

Bob & Bertha Tribuno

Richard & Ann Woodward

Richard & Joan Smith

Allen Tupker

Mike Yakos

Lucetta & Duane Sobaski

Ellis & Lisa Vann

Baoli & Sunny Zhang Yang

Sasha Solomon

Leonard Verdeck

Chad & Christine Zach

Al & Jacqui Sorensen

Ronald Wasik

Daniel Zange

James & Nancy Spencer

John & Mary Wauer

Marlin Zuber

Kelly A. Spencer

Terry Wegener

Frank & Barbara Stephen

Frank Weinstein

Additional donations made through Collins Aerospace Employee Matching Fund

Thank you for your gifts of any amount. We make every effort to ensure donors are appropriately recognized. If your name has been omitted or listed incorrectly, please accept our sincere apology and contact us at contributor@linncountytrails.org so we may correct the mistake. 2019 Business Contributions Alliant Energy Foundation

Iowa Running Company

Benchmark, Inc.

Kickstand Bar & Grill

Cedar Rapids Tourism Office

Northtowne Cycling & Fitness, Ltd.

Collins Aerospace

United Fire Group

Goldfinch Cyclery

We Run LLC

Hall Bicycle Company

Photo by Leah Banicky Fuller Sac & Fox Trail

There’s rarely a day that goes by that I don’t take advantage of the wonderful trails in Linn County. Thanks for all you do! — Michelle Basler

Photos by Michelle Steele — Morgan Creek County Park

$25,000 GIFT TO MORGAN CREEK PARK TRAIL PROJECT Linn County Conservation continues to make progress on adding trails in Linn County with the goal of continuing to connect communities. LCTA is an invaluable partner in this effort, supported by tremendous local advocates who not only promote trails, but also raise funds to help the new trails become reality. A recent example of LCTA’s advocacy and support is the trail through Morgan Creek County Park. This trail will extend the city of Cedar Rapids’ Cherokee Trail, connecting to — and extending through — Morgan Creek County Park. LCTA contributed funds to this trail, which helped Linn County Conservation obtain additional grants. This allowed the trail project to move forward quickly. We anticipate this trail project will go to bid in May (of 2020) with the goal of completing the project by the first half of 2021. The trail work will coincide with a major park renovation occurring at about the same time, including new wetlands and bio-swales; native prairie habitat development; a destination playground, shelter, and restrooms; and improved stormwater management. Once completed, the trail will connect neighborhoods with popular destinations, including the upgraded Morgan Creek County Park. LCTA’s members and donors played a critical role in making this trail project possible. Thank you all for your support of trails in our community. Dennis Goemaat Executive Director Linn County Conservation Board rendering courtesy Linn County Conservation Board

ENHANCED CONNECTIONS ConnectCR brings together two major projects in Cedar Rapids — the revitalization of Cedar Lake and the creation of an iconic pedestrian/trail bridge south of downtown. For years, people in our community have dreamed of constructing a recreational pedestrian/trail bridge across the Cedar River, linking the expanding NewBo area on the east side of the river with Mt. Trashmore and the Cedar Valley Nature Trail on the west side of the river. Public sentiment was that such a bridge would enhance recreation opportunities for bicyclists, joggers and walkers, and, if constructed correctly, create an iconic symbol for the community. For years, people in our community have also dreamed about revitalizing the long-neglected Cedar Lake to the north of downtown Cedar Rapids and connecting it with an improved recreational trail through downtown to the south. Many felt such a project would turn a current eyesore into a true community asset, encouraging water recreation activities such as kayaking, canoeing and fishing.

LCTA is proud to join the growing number of individuals and corporations who have contributed to and supported the “Awakening Connections” campaign of ConnectCR. The City of Cedar Rapids has already pledged $5 million. The Hall-Perrine Foundation has already pledged $5 million, as a 2:1 challenge. ConnectCR is well along in its efforts to raise an additional $7 million from individuals and corporations, and $3 million from Linn County and the State of Iowa.

LCTA understands the value of these projects, and in 2019 gave $15,000 to the campagin. Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz calls the project a game-changer. “It’s that quality-of-life amenity that Cedar Rapidians are going to be drawn to,” said Pomeranz. “We need these kinds of special places for our residents, for our businesses, and for our visitors.”

Happily, both of these dreams are about to come true, largely because of the efforts of a 501(c)(3) organization called ConnectCR, and its efforts to raise $20 million in design and construction costs for the projects. project renderings courtesy ConnectCR

LCTA President Kevin Kirchner (right) presents ConnectCR board president Mike McGrath with the campaign donation in November 2019.

Log on to ConnectCR.org to support this campaign. Once the total $20 million is raised, the money will be turned over to the City of Cedar Rapids which has committed to overseeing the construction and longterm maintenance and sustainability of both projects.

LCTA believes that completion of these two north and south “bookend” grassroots community projects will not only greatly enhance the breadth and appeal of our recreational trails system, but will offer stunning aesthetics; create outdoor and water recreation opportunities; connect community landmarks, businesses, neighborhoods and amenities; develop social hubs; and spark economic development.

We need these kinds of special places for our residents, for our businesses, and for our visitors.

— Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz

Photo by Marianne Satinsky Cedar Lake

Significantly, and in furtherance of its commitment to the projects, the City of Cedar Rapids has already acquired from Alliant Energy, ownership of Cedar Lake and the Smokestack Bridge site. The City is also finalizing the selection of an engineering firm to act as project manager to oversee the entire combined project.


story submitted by Tom Peffer, board member of LCTA & ConnectCR

Donate immediately online at linncountytrails.org/support or, mail this form with your contribution to:


Linn County Trails Association P.O. Box 2681 Cedar Rapids, IA 52406


Method of Payment:


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Bill Me

Do you work for one of the following — or many other — employers which offer charitable gift matching? Please include your form!


Aegon Alliant Energy

Your email address will be used only for supporter administration and LCTA information. It will not be sold or shared.

All donations to LCTA are tax deductible.

Cargill General Mills

Intermec PepsiCo (Quaker)

Collins Aerospace Other


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Linn County Trails Association P.O. Box 2681 Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2681




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Linn County Trails ASSOCIATION