Located on the western outskirts of the Des Moines metro, The Clive Greenbelt is an asphalt urban trail that runs for eleven miles through the heart of Clive. With it’s windy curves, lack of shoulder, and frequent use by walkers and joggers, this trail is best for slower bike ride. The Clive Greenbelt travels through the Greenbelt Park Forest and Woodlands and past a restored prairie. There are several city parks and trail access locations along the trail.
I took a midday break for a leisurely ride along the trail to enjoy Clive’s outdoor art exhibition. The art varies each year and is on display May through October. Artists receive a $1,000 stipend for their work. Clive residents vote for their favorite sculpture and the overall favorite is put on permanent display.
The horse sculpture titled At the Edge of the Cliff by Steven Huffman, from Ottumwa, was my favorite. All sorts of scrap metal was used. Idiot Wind by Paul Konchagulian made me think of a piece of broken windmill. It would be interesting to know the inspiration and stories of the creative process behind the pieces of art.
Along with the art, there were other eye catching elements on this bike ride. Between the bike trail and the Flying J truck stop there’s a remnant of a windmill, proof that years ago the land was once a working farm. This rusty artifact isn’t part of an exhibit, but I consider it an art form representing Iowa’s farming past.
Monarch butterflies had begun their migration south and were drifting along on the breeze or taking a break on blooms along the trail.
A note attached to a squared section of construction fencing read: “Can you spare this pine tree? We planted it as a memorial tree. Thanks.” It was nice to see the workers who cleared the trees left behind the little pine.
Towards the end of my ride I took a peaceful break next to Walnut Creek, to listen to nature, enjoy the view and eat a snack.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to ride the Clive Greenbelt trail and see the Art Along the Trail project, make plans now as the installations will be removed at the end of October.