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16 Iowa organizations will receive Wellmark Foundation Large MATCH grants

June 9, 2020

Des Moines, IA — The Wellmark Foundation has notified 16 Iowa organizations they will receive Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants, contingent upon securing the required dollar-for-dollar match. To ensure community support for these projects, organizations have until Sept. 4 to secure their matching funds. Each of these grantees are planning projects that can help individuals, families and communities achieve better health through built environment initiatives that encourage physical activity.

"The Wellmark Foundation is delighted by the amount of community input and support that was clearly expressed in the applications," said Becky Wampler Bland, The Wellmark Foundation executive director. "Each of these projects will provide great options for physical activity within their community that will enhance the quality of life and the overall well-being of their citizens."

The organizations selected to receive a Wellmark Foundation 2020 Large MATCH grant include:

Cerro Gordo County, $79,820
Kids PLAY: Playground for Lincoln Area Youth
Age-appropriate playground equipment will be installed on the Roosevelt Elementary/Lincoln Intermediate school campus providing more than 1,000 children with daily access to recreation and physical activity. The playground will include a peg bridge, vertical cargo climbing net, overhead ladder, balance beams, a wheel bridge, rope climb, over/under bars, quintuple jumping steps, a stability bridge, and a spiderwalk. The playground will serve as an obstacle course for PE fitness testing and recreational play. Community members can also enjoy all these amenities.

City of Audubon, $49,500
Middle - High School Link to Rec Center
A community visioning study was conducted for the city resulting in the community members voting on the top-five enhancement goals. Community members identified a sidewalk project linking the high school to the new recreation center as one of the top priorities. The new sidewalk link will provide a route for students to get safely from the high school to the recreation center to attend science and physical education classes, after school programming and gather with friends. Approximately 100-200 students will walk this route weekly.

City of Breda, $100,000
Breda Swimming Pool Renovation
The purpose of this project is to renovate a 53-year-old pool to ensure a safe and sustainable outdoor environment for people living in and near Breda to swim and be active during the summer months. The unique 4,100 square foot Breda Municipal Pool, which has become synonymous with the community's identity, has significant damage that needs repaired. This project will fix the identified deficiencies with a solution that is guaranteed to provide a minimum 25-year-life to the pool structure.

City of Corning, $100,000
Hull Street Trail
The Hull Street Trail project involves the construction of a 10-foot-wide concrete shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists to be located along the east side of Hull Street. The trail will connect the football field to the elementary school and sports complex providing a safe way for residents to walk or bike to activities.

City of De Soto, $50,000
De Soto Sidewalk Project - Phase I
The City of De Soto is creating a sidewalk program designed to enhance the connectivity of their town and promote an active lifestyle for their residents. This includes a sidewalk infill project designed to connect the school, park, library and businesses.

City of Dubuque, $100,000
Re-Imagine Comiskey: Splash Pad and Basketball Courts
The project involves the addition of a splash pad and expansion of basketball courts as part of a larger Comiskey Park redevelopment project. A splash pad will provide free water play for all ages and a place to cool down in the summer as many of the neighboring homes do not have air conditioning and there is not a swimming pool within walking distance. The expansion of basketball courts will add capacity to existing, overcrowded courts.

City of Manning, $100,000
Safe Routes to School South Trail
The South School Connector Trail will provide safe and efficient pedestrian and bike access to students, parents and faculty at all times of the year. Once completed, this trail will connect residents on both the North and South sides of Highway 141 with the school.

City of Mount Pleasant, $100,000
Saunders Park Trail Connection
This project will construct a one mile off-road, 10-foot wide multi-use trail on the southwest side of Mount Pleasant. This segment will be part of a continuous, citywide trail network, and connect Saunders Park and the Henry County Health Center to a larger trail network.

City of Wayland, $100,000
West Park Wetlands Project - Phase II
The City of Wayland is enhancing the recreational experience of West Park, by constructing a new trail loop, and replacing the existing outdated and deteriorating playground equipment. The new equipment is designed to be all-inclusive, to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities, and allow them to share the play space with their peers. In total, there will be a half-mile paved, 6-foot wide trail. The main trail loop will be built on a flat-to-sloped terrain, the outer arc will be built over more rugged terrain, with two crossings over a small creek. With different options for distance and terrain, the needs of a variety of users will be met.

City of Webster City, $96,928
East Twin Park Playground Project
The East Twin Park Playground Project is an effort to address the concerns related to the recreation equipment at the East Twin Park identified in the 2019 Webster City Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The needs identified for the playground equipment at East Twin Parks include: increasing the number of ADA-accessible pieces of equipment, making the park more desirable for younger families, and providing more active opportunities for all residents.

Clayton County, $100,000
Pony Hollow Trail Extension - Phase I
The Clayton County Conservation Board will be constructing a one-mile, 10-foot wide paved trail extending the existing Pony Hollow Trail in Elkader. The extension complements the four miles of existing out-and-back trail constructed along a railroad bed. Phase I will connect the North Trailhead to Grape Road. This project offers a safe alternative for trail users who wish to be physically active by creating separated lanes for both motorized and pedestrian traffic.

Decatur County, $100,000
Little River Scenic Pathway Extension
The Decatur County Conservation Board is planning to extend the Little River Scenic Pathway an additional 1.5 miles from the west edge of the City of Leon to the Little River Recreation Area and Little River Lake. The conservation board is working on Phase 1 of a multi-phase, multi-year project to extend the pathway out to the future Savanna Hills Learning Center on the west side of Little River Lake.

Jones County, $100,000
Wapsipinicon Trail - Phase II
This trail project provides the final connection for the Wapsipinicon Trail between the City of Anamosa, the Grant Wood Scenic Byway, Hale Bridge and Wapsipinicon State Park. The trail will run along the scenic banks of Fawn Creek and the Wapsipinicon River. The trail will provide a safe and accessible corridor for joggers, walkers, hikers, and bicyclists to access the park and city.

New Albin Improvement League, $100,000
New Albin Splash Park Improvement Project
New Albin Improvement League is making large improvements to an existing city park, including the installation of an accessible splash pad for all ages and abilities. The other improvements include necessary upgrades to the playground and surfaces, installing new fencing, updating the basketball courts, adding shade shelters with seating, adding an ADA compliant bathroom, and creating vertical gardens.

Southwest Iowa Nature Trails Project, Inc., $100,000
Mills County Bridge Renovations & Enhancements
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a converted rail-trail that begins in the scenic Loess Hills area at Council Bluffs, Iowa and goes through the communities of Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Imogene, Shenandoah, Coin and Blanchard, and ends at the Missouri Border. This project will re-deck the two largest bridges in Mills County, which are also the only two iconic overhead truss bridges on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail. The Silver Creek Bridge (322 feet long) is located between Silver City and Malvern, and the West Nishnabotna Bridge (375 feet long) is located between Malvern and Imogene.

Waukee Betterment Foundation, $100,000
Epic All-Inclusive Playground
The Epic All-Inclusive Playground is part of a 17 acre all-inclusive development that will also include a Miracle League field, ADA-compliant fishing pier and numerous walking paths. The playground will be built on a rubberized surface that will create a higher level of accessibility for users. The playground will have nearly 100 features that provide a variety of experiences for all to enjoy. All community members will have access to this safe, outdoor environment.

Since 2011, The Wellmark Foundation has provided more than $11 million in grant funding to communities across Iowa and South Dakota. View previous Wellmark Foundation MATCH grant recipients.