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Community Team


Ashleigh Gildon, RDG Planning & Design

Landscape Architect

Jen Cross, RDG Planning & Design

Steering Committee

Cory Arp

Jean Behrens

Brad Benton

Jamie Blum

Jason Christiansen

Marsha Clausen

Harvey Dales

Tammy Eberly

Ridge Muhlbauer

Karen Reinke

Dawn Rohe

Jessica Singsank

Geri Spies

Trees Forever Facilitator

Brad Riphagen

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Community Report

Manning (population 1,500) is located in Carroll County in western Iowa. The town is bisected by Highway 141, which is heavily traveled and a major route to Omaha, Des Moines, and Sioux City. The highway provides a lifeline throughout the town with many tourist attractions, local resources and businesses located along the road. Manning is close to many desirable destinations, including Great Western Park and Four Corners Recreation Area, located just west of town. The West Nishnabotna River runs along the western edge of Manning and is a valuable and underutilized resource as it currently stands. Manning was a visioning community in 2012 and completed all the proposed projects. The committee applied again in 2016 to continue the community’s momentum.

Planning and Design Summary

During the focus groups, more trails and more green space emerged as high priorities. Pedestrian and cyclist access to destinations along Highway 141 was also a common theme among all user types. The steering committee’s goals and the subsequent concept plan reflect these desires.

  • Downtown Improvements – Create green spaces at the former site of the health center and the adjacent empty lot and add amenities along Main Street such as street trees, benches, bike racks and trash receptacles.
  • Highway 141 – Install way-finding signage along the corridor and if possible, convert the highway from four to three lanes.
  • Great Western Park – Create a trail from the campsite to the shelter and restrooms, widen and make the existing pier accessible, and install a monument entrance sign based on the existing entrance signs.
  • Trestle Park – Develop the site of the old mill adjacent to the historic trestle bridge into a park with access to the Nishnabotna River.

The ambitious residents in Manning have already completed part of the Main Street parks and have cleared the site of the proposed Trestle Park.

Assessment Highlights

Transportation Barriers

The active, parent, and senior and mobility-impaired groups said that the lack of sidewalks on Highway 141 makes it challenging to get to West Side Market and the health care center for pedestrians and cyclists. The parents and actives groups said that pedestrians can’t easily reach the Quakerdale Center because there are no sidewalks on 3rd Street. The youth think it is hard to bike on uneven pavement. The parents and actives groups appreciate the recently added path along Manning Cemetery but would like to see it paved.

Desired Improvements

Many of the desired improvements were centered around Great Western County Park. User groups would like bike trails, trail amenities, and shade trees added to the park. Another improvement would be a trail connection to Four Corners Recreation Area. Participants also recommended various options for the trail to be extended to Templeton.