These “big ideas” for downtown could make headway next year as backers push fundraising efforts to bring recreation to the Des Moines River and a world-class skate park to the riverfront.

The city has commissioned an engineering study to figure out exactly how much money is needed to create new access points for boaters and swimmers and potentially add whitewater features for kayakers and tubers. Results are expected early next year.

“Enlivening and putting activity on our rivers is one of those big civic ideas that can be really exciting for our city,” Olson-Douglas said.

Fundraising efforts for a 65,000-square-foot skate park near Wells Fargo Arena will kick off again in December, said Dan Corron from the Downtown Chamber.

About $1 million of the project’s $3.5 million estimated cost has already been raised, and backers expect to be fully funded by the end of 2018, he said.


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