Smith and Hertzer noted that the city combined the first phase of the J Street Trail project with two other improvement projects, paving the Forest City Fire Hall’s parking lot and relocating/upgrading the recreational vehicle dumping station. Smith said the new dumping station is closer to the fire station and at a higher elevation in lieu of spring flooding potential.
Hertzer explained that Forest City’s overall vision is even larger, stemming from its nine-month visioning project with Iowa Living Roadways in 2018. About 20 community members worked with Iowa Living Roadways on plans and designs for many corridors.
She noted the Forest City Enhancement Committee’s plans for development that will extend Hynes Spur Trail across J Street along the river in Pammel Park all the way to the Airport Road on the south edge of town. There is existing river trail already winding through portions of Bear Creek Golf Course.
Hertzer also cited fundraising toward about $300,000 and work on a trail addition on the north side of J Street. The Korth Nature Trail there is also following the river and will connect to the Hy-Vee parking lot. The Hy-Vee property was formerly owned by the Bill Korth family, which operated Bill’s Red Owl and Bill’s Family Foods.
“The primary goals are to provide access to the grocery store and promote nature and outdoor recreation along the river,” said Hertzer. “We’d like to finish it in 2021, but there are some factors such as COVID-19 that could cause delays. Even so, I’m super excited about it.”
“I’ve already seen a few bikers use the new section of the J Street Trail and people are also checking out what’s happening back there with the Korth Nature Trail,” said Hertzer.