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New Fund Established to Support Carlson Park Trail Development

Winneshiek County Community Foundation
August 24, 2023

The Decorah Park and Recreation Department and the City of Decorah have partnered to establish the Carlson Park Trail Development Fund, a special project fund held with the Winneshiek County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. The fund will support the development of bike-optimized trails and amenities for all abilities within the park.

In 2019, the Dave and Rick Carlson families donated 110 acres of land to the City of Decorah to create Carlson Park. A formal planning process was completed in 2021 with the JL Bruce Company, the City of Decorah and much public input.

“The next step of the Carlson Park development is to start funding the projects that are going to bring even more amenities and recreation opportunities to the Decorah area,” said Benji Nichols, member of the Decorah Park and Recreation Department Board and Carlson Park Trail Coalition. “There are many partners involved, and we’re excited to bring others into the fold to see the vision become a reality.”

Preliminary park projects include completing professional planning and construction of the NW Feature Trail, which will allow pedestrian and bicycle traffic into the park, as well as novice and intermediate trail systems. These trails may also lay the groundwork for an approved Scholastic (High School) Mountain Biking Course, as well as additional hiking, running and snow sports trail systems.

Financial gifts of cash/check and stock are accepted through the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, 3117 Greenhill Circle, Cedar Falls, IA, 50613. Checks to the fund should be made payable to the Carlson Park Trail Development Fund. Gifts can also be made on the Community Foundation’s secure website at Donors to the fund can take advantage of normal federal deductions for charitable gifts.

Questions about giving to the fund may be directed to Terry Gaumer, affiliate development director with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, at 319-243-1354 or

Information about the Winneshiek County Community Foundation can be found at

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