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2019 Large MATCH grant recipients

Large MATCH grants support promising projects that help individuals, families and communities achieve better health with funding requests up to $100,000. The Wellmark Foundation offers grants to projects that either:

  1. Create a safe environment to be physically active in.
  2. Increases access to and consumption of healthy foods.

Get Large MATCH grant eligibility and application details.

See the great work that has been accomplished with funding from the Large MATCH grant.

Cedar Valley Nature Trail Reconstruction

Approximately a quarter mile of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail at mile marker 13.75, located north of McFarlane Park near La Porte City will be reconstructed. The surface of the trail in this section has been compromised due to burrowing muskrats causing settlement and a hazardous washboard effect to the surface.

Iron Bridge Access – Gateway for River Use on the Wapsipinicon River

The Conservation Board intends to improve safety at the Iron Bridge Access by installing a universal launch access on a state-designated water trail. The project includes an improved boat ramp, a secondary ramp, a transfer area to help people load, unload, enter and exit the river, and a sidewalk for easy and safe access to the water. An expanded parking area is also included in the project so more residents will be able to access the water trail for increased outdoor recreation and activity.

Prairie Land Trail – Phases Three & Four

The Prairie Land Trail project will continue the creation of a recreational trail on an abandoned railway surface in Cerro Gordo County. This will involve converting the existing railroad surface to an engineer-designed recreational trail and safely renovating one wooden bridge into a suitable and safe crossing for recreational traffic.

Accessible City Sidewalks

The city of Centerville is creating an integrated sidewalk/trail system, using Safe Routes to School concepts. This project includes completing the construction of 6-foot-wide pedestrian paths that will connect to an existing trail/path system. By doing this, accessibility will increase to existing recreation trails and provide safe access to businesses currently only accessible by automobiles.

Magnetic Park Trail Development

This trail development project will add 0.83 miles of paved trails and 1.25 miles of soft trails in Cherokee. These trails will be developed throughout Magnetic Park, a sprawling 50-acre setting that was acquired specifically to develop trails in a safe and scenic environment. The paved trails will loop around a historic barn and pond and will allow visitors to explore restored prairie lands, woodlands and wetlands in Magnetic Park. The soft trails will go through the park and allow visitors to travel by foot, mountain bike or cross-country skiing. The trails will also offer outdoor classroom opportunities for visitors of all ages.

South Riverfront Corridor Trail

The city of Keokuk is working to initiate the development of a riverfront trail system. The proposed one-mile trail will connect several riverfront amenities along Mississippi Drive, including Victory Park, Hubinger Landing and the South Side Boat Club. The proposed concrete trail will be 10-feet-wide with 2-foot shoulders and connect with an existing sidewalk on North Water Street. The project involves resurfacing approximately 1,600 feet of existing trail and a 3,600-foot extension further along the Mississippi river. The trail will provide the first-ever dedicated multi-use path that connects all facilities and amenities along the entirety of Keokuk's south riverfront area.

School/Wellness Center Train

The Mount Vernon School/Wellness Center Trail project will construct a 1/4-mile-long, 8-foot-wide paved trail. This project includes lighting, benches, landscaping and if budget allows, an exercise station. In addition, the trail will provide a safe route for children to walk and bike to school.

New Hampton TRIBE Trail - Phase Two

The TRIBE Trail project is a three-phase project that will connect two well-used trails together for increased outdoor recreation and activity for both community residents and visitors. After successfully completing phase one, the city of New Hampton is ready to engage in phase two which will join the one-mile trail near Mikkelson Park to another trail located near the Industrial Park. Phase two of the TRIBE Trail project will continue to expand environments where users can safely walk, jog and bike.

Clay Street Park Development

The Clay Street Park is a future one-acre park that includes several amenities: a playground, Life Trail adult exercise equipment, shade structures, landscaping with an open space, sidewalks, trails, paved pavilion, water fountain, shelter house, restroom building and benches. This park is also designed with a poured rubber mat, derived from recycled tires, so that the area will be accessible to all.

Bishop Park Splash Pad

The Bishop Park Splash Pad will create a new park in Sergeant Bluff that will include recreation options not found at any of the community's existing parks. The project includes the creation and installation of a splash pad.

Urbandale All-Inclusive Playground Project

The city of Urbandale, along with a group of citizen volunteers, is raising funds to construct an all-inclusive playground in Urbandale's Northview Park next to the recently completed Urbandale Miracle League field. The all-inclusive playground will feature specialized surfacing and adaptive play structures accessible for individuals of all abilities, but especially those with special needs. It will offer play features intended to attract large numbers of children and adults outside to play, with amenities to engage the senses and enhanced safety features.

Wellness Park Trail Connection to Kewash Nature Trail

As part of the development of an 80-acre regional park, the city of Washington is beginning work on phase one that includes a sports complex with four ballfields and two multi-use fields. The goal is to have phase one complete by the spring of 2020 to welcome athletes of all abilities to the newly completed fields. The complex is located just 2,900 feet north of the 14-mile Kewash Nature Trail. Phase One work will also include a spur from the Kewash Nature Trail to the new complex. The trail spur will also link the future YMCA building to the Kewash Nature Trail and complex.

Jones Pasture Trail

The Jones Pasture Trail involves the construction of a 10-foot wide, concrete recreational trail through Jones Pasture on the northeast side of Big Spirit Lake in Dickinson County. The project will extend the existing Iowa Great Lakes Spine Trail to reach Angler's Bay Wildlife Management Area where a future trail will be built. The Jones Pasture Trail will also create a connection to the entire Iowa Great Lakes Trails system through the East Okoboji Slough and Pioneer Beach Trails.

Iowa River Trail

The Iowa River Trail is a 34-mile trail project on a former railroad between the communities of Marshalltown and Steamboat Rock. The trail is being developed in phases in an effort to safely open segments for public use as soon as each phase is complete. This project includes the rehabilitation and conversion of seven former railroad bridges to trail use between Steamboat Rock and Gifford. These bridges are currently unsafe for pedestrian or bicycle traffic with exposed railroad ties and no railings. Improving these structures for permanent trail use will allow safe access along 9.3 miles of the scenic Iowa River Trail.

Playground Replacement Project

The focus of the project is the replacement of a 20-year-old deteriorating playground set with a safer set that will encourage a healthy lifestyle for children and provide an opportunity for families to spend quality time together. The goal is to remove the existing play structure and replace it with a larger one that will accommodate more children, as well as adding swings and pieces that will provide gross motor movement. School staff have recognized the need to update the playground so that students, and community members, will have a safer place to be active.

Ames Miracle Playground and Field

The Ames Miracle Playground and Field Project will feature an all-inclusive playground and Miracle League Field. It will be the first active recreational area of its kind in Ames promoting unencumbered play for children and adults of all abilities and will serve as an important outreach tool educating the public on the importance of fostering involvement by everyone in the community.

Woodward-Granger Early Learning Center Playground

The Woodward-Granger Community School District is installing a new playground at the Early Learning Center to provide physical activity opportunities for students and Granger residents. This multi-phase, comprehensive playground update will include a concrete surface with painted markings, basketball hoops, green space, playground equipment and fencing. This playground will be used by students during recess, physical education class time and before-and-after school programming, and then by community residents year-round. As one of five parks/play spaces in the Granger community, this space will greatly increase access to physical activity.