August 3, 2021

DES MOINES, IA (August 3, 2021) – Iowa Confluence Water Trails is pleased to announce a $3 million gift from the Nationwide Foundation. With $25 million raised, the project is nearly three-quarters of the way to its private fundraising goal. This $3 million commitment from the Nationwide Foundation represents its largest gift ever to the Central Iowa community.

“This project is going to provide residents with a unique and enriching opportunity to be healthy and active, as well as a source of pride for our community,” Jeff Rommel, Senior Vice President at Nationwide, said.

When complete, ICON Water Trails will connect more than 80 improvements across the region and provide access to safe, clean and fun recreation in Central Iowa. Included in the project are five sites in downtown Des Moines featuring outdoor adventure activities — surfing, whitewater rafting, ziplining and more.

The downtown adventure park is projected to produce $104.4 million in direct spending within five years of opening. It will generate annual direct spending — toward lodging, food and beverage, retail, transportation, sightseeing and entertainment — of more than $25 million per year once the venue matures. Additionally, the downtown adventure park will create 151 full-time jobs in year one and 202 full-time jobs by year five.

“We’ve seen successful outdoor recreation projects across the country stimulate economic development and long-term conservation efforts,” Maggie McClelland, Director of ICON Water Trails, said. “Nationwide Foundation’s investment represents key buy-in from the business community, and its long-term support will help shepherd this project through to fruition.”

About ICON Water Trails

Iowa Confluence Water Trails — ICON, for short — will connect 80+ improvements across 150 miles of rivers and creeks in Central Iowa. Initiated by the Central Iowa Water Trails Consortium, including Capital Crossroads, Catch Des Moines, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines Area MPO, Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Great Outdoors Foundation, ICON represents a new commitment to water safety and conservation as well as a concerted effort to drive economic development, visitor attraction and workforce retention. Learn more at Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.