Gift to Iowa's Future Day 2014: Union Pacific Railroad Gift
Union Pacific Railroad helped link Ankeny to Des Moines through a sale of land to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation of six miles of former railroad corridor in Polk County. The “Ankeny Connector” will extend the High Trestle Trail through the heart of the community and will serve as a new link between the HTT, Neal Smith Trail, Chichaqua Valley Trail and the Gay Lea Wilson Trail. It will be a direct route to northern Des Moines neighborhoods because of the underpass beneath Interstate 80. The trail will be owned by Polk County and the City of Ankeny.
Gift to Iowa's Future
In 2008, Iowa legislators designated the first Monday in April as Gift to Iowa’s Future Day to celebrate and honor individuals, corporations and organizations that have helped permanently protect land for parks, trails, natural areas, fish and wildlife habitats in Iowa.
A number of this year’s honorees worked with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to help them find the right options to protect their land for conservation purposes.