SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A few Siouxland communities are joining forces with hopes of qualifying for the State of Iowa’s “Destination Iowa” grant funding program.

The “Destination Iowa” program is designed with the goal “to bolster the quality of life in Iowa’s communities and attract visitors and new residents to the state” according to its webpage.

According to a release, the City of Sioux City’s Parks & Recreati0on Department and The Siouxland Initiative (TSI) are cooperating with the communities of Le Mars, Merrill, Hinton, Sioux City and Sergeant Bluff in order to make their application more appealing to the review committee.

The goal of receiving the grant would be to complete a planned trail system that would connect Siouxland communities through recreational trails.

According to the release, less than two weeks ago, local organizers had announced that there was still around $2.2 million needed to close the gap in order to have enough money to qualify for the grant. Applying communities must have a total of 60% of the needed funds in order to qualify, the state will then match the remaining 40% if the application is approved.

After receiving a few donations since the $2.2 million announcement, the community currently has less than $250,000 remaining.

The total price tag for the trail system is estimated to be around $19 million, meaning $11.4 million must be raised before the state will match with the remaining $7.5 million.

Applications for the “Destination Iowa” applications open May 9 and leaders of the cooperation have stated that they have every intention of raising the money needed and hope to be amongst the first applications submitted to the state.

Those interested in learning more about this program or contributing to the fundraising effort are asked to contact Sioux City Parks & Recreation or The Siouxland Initiative. Donations of any size are encouraged and welcome.