Dubuque County, IA - Heritage Trail
Dubuque County, Iowa is located along the Mississippi River at the point where three states meet (Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin) — a community often referred to as the Tri-State Area. In the City of Dubuque, you can view the Mississippi River Valley and all three states from the top of the bluffs that overlook the Mighty Mississippi. The county has a population of almost 94,000 according to the 2010 Census.
Heritage Trail is a 26-mile multi-use recreational trail comprised of compacted crushed limestone that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way connecting the City of Dubuque on the eastern edge of the county to the City of Dyersville on the western edge of the county. Currently, the county, seven cities and the Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation district are working together on a Regional Comprehensive Plan that uses the 13 comprehensive planning elements and 10 smart planning principles in the State Code to add sustainability goals and objectives into each of the communities' comprehensive plans.
One of the goals of the Dubuque Smart Planning Consortium is to promote economic development in the region by connecting all seven cities in the Consortium to Heritage Trail. An APA Community Planning Assistance Team will offer the Consortium recommendations on how to make the trail more accessible and user friendly, how to promote the sustainability of the Trail, and how to expand the recreational and economic development opportunities of the entire region. The Heritage Trail project is Dubuque County's first sustainable project on a regional scale and will serve as a model for similar broad-area efforts in the county. Jason Epley, AICP of Benchmark is a contributing team member on this project.