Partners prioritize outdoor recreation for health, quality of life


On September 14, the community will celebrate completion of the Wapsipinicon Trail project’s second phase, a milestone made possible with support from the Jones County Community Foundation

The trail promises to be a major benefit for residents of nearby Anamosa and other Jones County communities — and it is just one of numerous outdoor recreation projects that the Community Foundation has supported in the past decade to help improve the quality of life in the region.

Outdoor recreation projects can have broad community impact, helping address many of the Community Foundation’s funding priorities: economic well-being, education, capital projects, health, tourism, recreation and conservation.  

“It is not surprising many of those projects have been successful in obtaining Foundation grants over the years. With organizations like Twin Rivers Pheasants Forever, Jones County Conservation and local park and rec boards leading the charge, we have been able to help bring trails, wildlife habitat, park shelters and ballparks to our communities,” says Doug Edel, the Foundation’s executive director. 

“Thanks to nonprofit partners bringing forward these projects, and collaborative funding from a variety of sources, Jones County residents and visitors can enjoy jewels like Central Park that make our lives richer,” he adds. 

Visit Central Park in Center Junction and you’ll experience all the best things a county park can offer: ample green space, trees, views, walking trails, kayaking, fishing, camping, shelters, a playground, modern restrooms, a beach. The list of amenities also includes projects supported by Foundation grants: a Storywalk®, bridge renovations and accessibility efforts around the lake. 

“Connecting with nature through parks has made such a difference in my life, and it is very important to me that others have the same opportunity,” says Derith Vogt, founder and chair of the Friends of Jones County Conservation and Nature Center. “These improvements help create a passion for parks and curiosity about the world around us in young people, the very people who will continue to support conservation long into the future – and these grants cement our legacy as conservationists.”