A meeting took place on Wednesday, June 26 to discuss a plan to have an "iconic" public art installation put at the Raccoon River Valley Trail head in Waukee, which is at the corner of Hickman Road and 10th St. According to a summary of the meeting released to the DCN, the City of Waukee has retained the services of RDG Planning and Design, which is a nationally recognized Des Moines firm.

Cindy DePond from the Waukee Area Arts Council said that the art at the trail head would have significance in its own because they are the beginning and the end of the loop on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

"It will enhance everyone’s experience and usage when they come through Waukee," DePond said. "They will leave and have a warm and fuzzy feeling of Waukee that this is a unique experience at our trailhead."

David Dahlquist, the program director for RDG Planning and Design, also designed the High Trestle Trail Bridge near Woodward, which just received the Trails and the Arts Award.

The project is estimated to cost around $250,000 and according to the meeting summary, the project will be funded by private and corporate donations and grants, as well as support from the city of Waukee.

The project will be funded in two phases: phase one includes conceptualization and design by RDG, which is expected to be completed late this summer and will cost $35,000. Phase two includes construction and the cost for phase two has yet to be determined.

Phase-one donations so far, according to the summary total $28,550 so far. Jim Miller, Public Arts Committee chair said they don’t have a fundraising goal in mind yet because they don’t have a cost on the final project yet, but said there were a few designs at the meeting that stood out to people.

"We don’t know the answer to that yet because we don’t have a cost for the design yet," Miller said. "The question is, what would it cost to do one versus the other and that’s something that David Dahlquist and his group need to come back with."

The Waukee Public Arts Committee is helping to lead the way on fundraising and have been reaching out to individuals and businesses in the community for support. Miller said that they have been primarily focusing on anyone who has a Waukee connection as far as a business standpoint.