November 13, 2019

This is really saying something.

After all the projects over the decades — Wells Fargo Arena, the sculpture park, Western Gateway, Principal Riverwalk — the four co-chairs of the Central Iowa Water Trails Incubator’s Campaign Advisory Council say the regional effort to line 155 miles of waterways with 86 well-planned fun spots is the biggest effort yet.

“This is the most significant project that I have worked or watched in my entire life in Central Iowa,” said Steve Zumbach, a longtime community and business leader and a lawyer at Belin McCormick.

I sat down with the four water trails project leaders — Steve Chapman, Suku Radia, Steve Zumbach and Allison Fleming — to ask why they are supporting the project and what it means to the area.

When Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO Jay Byers calls it the most transformative project we’ve seen, he’d get no argument from them.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” Chapman said. “We’ve done everything we could to stimulate economic developments in this community. And almost all of it has been bricks and mortar. I mean, the people of Central Iowa can be extremely proud of what Des Moines has become. But we have spent no time going back and doing what is right with our natural resources.

“This is actually a project that’s going to address the quality of our waterways,” Chapman added. “Not only that, we are going to add an element of entertainment and recreation that is going to be unique in Central Iowa. When I look at this project, it’s an economic development project.”

To read the full Business Record article, click here.