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Cedar Valley Nature Trail Fund Established with Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

May 3, 2022

The Black Hawk County Conservation Board has established the Cedar Valley Nature Trail Fund, an endowment fund with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, to support the ongoing upkeep, maintenance and improvement of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. Examples of projects the fund will support include, but are not limited to, trailhead amenities, signage, trail surface maintenance and/or repair, trail maintenance equipment and supplies, future trail projects and may serve as matching funds for potential grant opportunities.

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail represents the first rail to trail conversion in the state of Iowa and serves as a recreational alternative for users of all types through both urban and rural areas. This iconic trail connects two of the largest metropolitan areas in Iowa, Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids with many connecting spur trails. The trail connects people with all the communities, amenities, cultural venues and extensive trail systems up and down the corridor and is part of two nationally recognized trails; The American Discovery Trail and the Great American Rail Trail both of which traverse across the United States from coast to coast.

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail accommodates multiple recreational needs including pedestrian, bicycle, inline skating and cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter months. The trail also provides nature enthusiasts the means to witness a wide variety of Iowa’s many different ecosystems all represented along the trail corridor.

The northern 26 miles of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail from Evansdale to the Benton/Buchanan County Line is owned and managed by Black Hawk County Conservation. This trail is mostly level which provides the community with the recreational infrastructure needed for people of all ages and ability levels to remain active.

“It was important to the Black Hawk County Conservation Board to create the endowment fund to ensure the sustainability of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail for generations to come,” said Mike Hendrickson, executive director of Black Hawk County Conservation Board.

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail Fund is an endowed fund that is professionally managed and invested to grow over time. Gifts to the endowment fund are eligible to receive a 25% state tax credit through the Endow Iowa program. More information about this program can be found at

Financial gifts of any size to the fund are welcome. Online gifts can be made on the Community Foundation’s secure website at Gifts of cash, check and stock are accepted through the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, 3117 Greenhill Circle, Cedar Falls, IA, 50613. Checks should be made payable to “Cedar Valley Nature Trail Fund”.

Questions about giving may be directed to Laurie Everhardt, director of development with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, at 319-243-1352 or

More information about Black Hawk County Conservation can be found at

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