You may have seen some excitement and fun happening on Main Street in Dysart on Saturday, and it was for a wonderful cause! The event titled "Beats, burgers, brats, brews and bicycles" was set up as a fund-raiser type event to help raise money and bring awareness to The Old Creamery Nature Trail. With in the last few years the trail has been affected by flooding a few times and needs to be resurfaced. Up until four years ago when the trail was donated to the Benton County Conservation Board the trail was completely funded by donors and fund-raisers, there was no tax money offered for the trail. The event on Saturday was established to raise money so they can apply for federal grants to match the amount raised, and they will use the donations and grants to resurface the entire 15 miles of the trail.
The trail was originally build in 1872 by the Burlington, Cedar Rapids, and Northern Railroad Companies, and later became a part of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroads which ran primarily from Vinton to Watertown South Dakota. . The rail line was abandoned in 1994 and was purchased by the Iowa Trails Counsel in 1995. The trail begins in Dysart just past highway 21, going east and makes a stop in Garrison and end in Vinton. The trail is currently lined with limestone and is great for biking, running, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, photography, and even offers the popular Geo-caching.
Thanks to hardworking and dedicated volunteers the trail stays well maintained and beautiful. Along the trail you will find beautiful scenery, wildlife, flowers, and rolling fields as far as the eye can see. The trail is beautifully maintained and several benches for resting, and lovely wooden bridges can be seen along the way. All three towns along the trail offer refreshments and exciting things to stop at along your way.
Pictured above with the bike donated for the fundraiser are Russel and Linda Grimm, owners of the Copper Beech building and art gallery, who volunteered to sit at the bike raffle stand all day.
The event on Saturday raised money in a few different ways. Europa Bikes from Cedar Falls donated a Trek Verve bicycle to be raffled off. You could purchase raffle tickets for $5 and be entered to win the amazing bike. There was also delicious food being cooked by the Dysart Lions Club, and also a bake sale to help raise funds. Rides down the trail were also being offered. Volunteers drove people down the trail from approximately 4 miles and back. There was a pick-up taking people and also a Ranger, and this was donation based as well. There was also face painting, yard games, and a live band for entertainment.
One of the most popular parts of the fund-raiser was the craft beer tent. There was three local Iowa brewers present. You could purchase a tasting cup for $10 dollars and try your pick of whatever you wanted. Another Road Brewing Company which is based out of Marion, IA was just established around three months ago. Friends and investors of Another Road, Bob and Karen Hoyt were at the event Saturday giving out samples. They offered two types of beer, Bare Back Belgian Ale and Hayloft Hefenweizen.
Broad Street Brewing was also present. They are a brewing company out of our neighboring town Reinbeck. Broad Street was started by Trevor Shellborn and his Step-father volunteered to come out to Dysart on Saturday and give samples of their local brews! They had three types of beer at the event, Coo-Coo Cahoo, Reinbeck Wheat, and Black Porter. Broad Street has their beer on tap at several different restaurants and bars in the Cedar Valley, for a full list of where to find a beer from them visit their Face-book page for more info.
The final craft beer vendor was back Pocket Brewery. They had four types of beer at the event including, Penny-whistle, Gold Coin which is their most popular, Slingshot Dunkel and Wooden Nickel. Mike Mclaughlin who is a resident of Dysart heard they needed a volunteer because no-one from the brewery could make it. He stepped right up and was on Main Street all day helping out in the beer tent.
Despite the weather starting our rainy and gloomy on Saturday morning, the afternoon cleared up and the sun was peeking through the cloud. Scattered showers kept the humidity at ease, but were not bad enough to effect the fund-raiser. There are so many people to thank for helping out with this event, it could not have been possible without the Old Creamery Nature Trail volunteers, the Dysart DDC, Lyons Club, Europa Bikes, the Blue Hats club and many many more. Thank you to everyone who came out for this event, and don't forget to take a lovely walk or bike ride down the trail to see all of the beautiful landscapes this area has to offer.