Outside tasks supply thrilling future | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

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Lots of exciting things are in the works for those who want to get outside and have fun in Fort Dodge and Webster Counties.

Fishing, running, biking and just hanging out by the river would get a boost from a number of ambitious projects unveiled this week. The list includes handicapped-accessible fishing jetties in the Des Moines River, a riverside park on the west end of Central Avenue, a nature center in the park, and a handful of new hiking trails. In addition, there is a renovation on First Street next to the planned riverside park. Work on the jetties, in the park and on the street could start in autumn. The first new trail, a loop around Badger Lake in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, could also begin this fall.

Construction of the nature center is scheduled to begin next year.

All of these projects resulted from a remarkable collaboration between the city and district governments. About 25 years ago, such a collaboration would have been unlikely. It is now routine for the city and the district to tackle ever larger projects together.

Homeowners won’t pay the bill for any of these things. For example, the county will use tax hike funding generated by the AG’s industrial park called Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation and the numerous wind turbines in the southern part of the county.

When these projects are completed, they will provide many fun opportunities for local residents. But they will also serve as attractive features that will help people choose to come to Fort Dodge and Webster Counties to live and work. At a time when people can live and work almost anywhere, quality of life characteristics are required to attract and retain a workforce.

These projects offer an exciting new future for outdoor recreation and quality of life.

We appreciate the hours of planning it took to put these projects together. We urge the city and district leaders to continue working together to complete it.

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