DES MOINES, Iowa – Another round of Destination Iowa grants has been announced by Gov. Kim Reynolds and two Des Moines metro projects will benefit from the funding.

A regional water trails network will get $7 million for part of its project in Des Moines. The money is specifically for the Scott Avenue portion of the Iowa Confluence Water Trails project, located near the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. The total cost for this portion of the water trail is estimated at $53.5 million.

The overall vision for the water trails project includes more than 80 improvements across 150 miles of waterways in central Iowa. In the Des Moines area, that includes four projects on the Des Moines River and one on the Raccoon. Back in January, Gov. Reynolds announced a $15 million water improvement grant was awarded to the project for work around the dam on the Raccoon River near Fleur Drive.

In West Des Moines, the historic Val Air Ballroom will be revamped using a $1 million Destination Iowa grant. The project includes rehabilitating some of the historically significant aspects of the ballroom and bringing in modern amenities. The complete project is expected to cost more than $12.7 million.

Also included in this fourth round of Destination Iowa funding is:

  • City of Council Bluffs and the Southwest Iowa Nonprofit for Collaborative Impact: $4,900,000 toward phase four of the Iowa Riverfront Development project. This phase includes a treetop walk, a pier and a 138-foot-tall observation tower with an adventure course. The award represents 15% of the total project investment of $32,827,000. 

Previous rounds of grants awarded from the Destination Iowa program include $6 million to the producers of a ‘Field of Dreams’ TV show that had been planned for streaming service Peacock. Peacock has since dropped the project, but producers are working to shop it to another outlet.

In August, $12.5 million from the program was awarded to build a permanent multi-use stadium as part of development at the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s $100 million Destination Iowa program aims to invest in attractions across the state that will improve quality of life, increase tourism, and attract new residents. The program is funded by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. Rep. Cindy Axne, the only Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation, was the lone Iowa lawmaker to vote in favor of the act.