The popularity of paddle sports is increasing in the Cedar Valley and several local agencies are looking to make improvements.
"They’re huge and that’s one thing I didn’t realize is how big the kayaking, even here locally, is," said Samantha Price. Price is working on the project as part of Ritland and Kuiper Landscape Architects.
The project is a joint project headed by the Iowa Northland Regional Council of Government (INRCOG). They are working to develop a master plan for the Cedar Valley Water Trail to present to the Iowa DNR to make it a state-designated water trail.
Price said there is a lot that comes with the designation. "So what happened when you become a designated water trail, is it opens up funding from the Iowa DNR," she said.
If approved, the money will be used to make improvements and additions to the trail such as signage and access points.
INRCOG Executive Director Kevin Blanshan said they have been holding public meetings in Cedar Falls and Waterloo to see where the trails need improved. He said the project is to improve access and enhance the experience of boating in the Cedar Valley.
Price said a major point was that of the access areas to the waterways. "Some of them are still, might just be kind of a dirt access point or gravel. So maybe looking at ways to improve those," Price said.
Once the plan is complete, it will be sent to the Iowa DNR for approval. Price said the plan must be complete by December 2018.
If you missed the public comment meetings last week, but still want to tell INRCOG what you think needs improved, you can tell them through an online survey here.