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Grants, donations and volunteer labor will soon make possible this Shellsburg trail project.

Shellsburg has received wonderful news for our community.

The Shellsburg Area Community Group (SACG) has been awarded a "Keep Iowa Beautiful" grant of $4,950 for the Prairie Forest Trail project. The Keep Iowa Beautiful Foundation partners with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources each year to make grants available for beautification projects and we were fortunate to be awarded our full request.

This money, and a donation from SACG, will allow us to erect a trail entrance sign, create a grass walkway, build a split rail fence, buy materials for a needed foot bridge and purchase a bench and trash receptacle.

All this will occur at the north end of Pearl Street, creating access to the already existing trail through the woods and restored prairie behind the Shellsburg school. The new trail entrance will be built on land owned by the school and we are pleased to have the school district’s cooperation and support in making the trail more accessible and inviting to our community.

This trail entrance will become the first project resulting from our 2013 participation in the long-term planning process, Community Visioning. Jay Herman is chairing the Prairie Forest Trail committee and we are anxious to begin work on this exciting community development.

Volunteers will be needed to build the fence and foot bridge, so please contact Jay if you want to contribute some time and labor. Rex Miller (who owns the land next to the prairie and trail entrance) has removed a lot of trees in preparation for replacing the fence around his property so the appearance of the area has already changed. But keep your eye on this spot around July 1st when the grant money becomes available!

The Shellsburg Visioning committee met again on May 22, 2014 and heard updates from our five project committees. These committees are for the Downtown Streetscape, Prairie Forest Trail, Streambank Stabilization, Park Redevelopment and Wayfinding Signage. All the committees had progress to report and the community leaders are excited about possible developments and funding.

All these committees are having meetings and if you would like to attend and share your ideas call Lori Mott (436-7792) or Nancy Thorkildson (436-4542), co-chairs for Visioning. And for those of you who use Facebook, we now have a Shellsburg Visioning Committee page set up. Please check it out and help us spread the word by “liking” us and informing your other Facebook friends!

SACG leaders are very appreciative to have been awarded this Keep Iowa Beautiful grant. We look forward to creating better access to the restored prairie behind the Shellsburg Elementary school and to the addition of another recreation opportunity in Shellsburg.

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