PORT rec trail sees improvements

Volunteers Larry Smith and Jeff Deacon spend time on Saturday working on the P.O.R.T. trail pergola that is being built near the north trail head on Bluff Road. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC


FORT MADISON – The past two weeks have seen some attractive improvements at the PORT recreational trail on the west side of Fort Madison.

Volunteers from the local high schools and service clubs helped plant trees along the first phase of the trail that runs north and south on property east of the Fort Madison Middle School.

Local Rotarians have also donated a pergola, just south of the trail head on Bluff Road. The project cost about $10,000 according to Rotarian Larry Smith and isn’t quite finished. Donations of services from area companies and organizations have helped bring the project to fruition including $4,ooo from the Fort Madison Rotary Club that triggered another $4,000 matching Rotary grant, and supplies and labor donated by Jones Contracting of West Point and the City of Fort Madison helped with the work.

An Alliant Energy tree grant put young trees along with west side of the cement trail and those were planted several weeks ago with the help of local students and volunteers.

Phase 1 of the project, which connects Bluff Road –  just east of the junior high campus – to Ivanhoe park is open and available for recreation enthusiasts. However some lighting for the trail is still being worked on. The committee is looking at using solar lighting for the trail or other energy efficient models.

Total plans for the trail include Phase 1 which is almost complete; Phase 2 which is in the works and will connect the trail with the Baxter Sports Complex and then a third phase will take the trail west further to Fort Madison Community Hospital.

Fort Madison Partners Executive Director Tim Gobble is all in helping local volunteers put trees in along the P.O.R.T. trail in Fort Madison. The trees were paid for with a grant from Alliant Energy. Photo courtesy of Dianne Hope.


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