Peosta residents last week got a closer look at possible future projects during a virtual presentation that mapped out where pedestrian trails, parks and a town center might one day sit.

“I think it’s a necessary way to look forward,” said City Council Member John Kraft, who tuned into RDG Planning & Design’s presentation. “I know in the past we’ve always kind of reacted to builders building what they want to build. And now, it’s kind of our turn to have a decision of what the future is going to look like, and we can help mold what potential different areas might look like in the future.”

Dozens of residents watched the presentation during which RDG officials discussed the elements thus far for the city’s comprehensive parks and trails plan.

“The priority is connections, that being both street and pedestrian connections around the community, and the idea of this central gathering place around the town center and what that identity should be and where it should be in the future,” said Charlie Cowell, a RDG project manager.

A proposed location for that “central gathering place” was near the intersection of Cox Springs and Burds roads.

Cowell said this plan will provide residents with an idea of what’s possible for both immediate and long-term growth as well as a better understanding of what land is available and how it can be used.

“It is really showing where we see growth happening in the future and how we want that to pan out in the future,” he said.

In a recent survey created by RDG, 79% of residents said they would like a greenway trail, 69% of people said they like the idea of a splash pad and 67% said they like the idea of a nature trail.

Ryan Peterson, a landscape architect with RDG, addressed residents’ overwhelming support for a pedestrian trail system that can be accessed throughout the city. He showed a map of a system connecting Royal Oaks Drive, Burds Road, Cox Springs Road and Peosta Street.

“Really what we are trying to do is give everyone in the city access to a great trail system that you can spend five minutes on or five hours on,” he said.

During the discussion, multiple comments and questions from residents popped up in the online chat boxes. One said they did not see enough baseball fields in the current plan, another asked what would be built closer to Old Highway Road, and one comment asked if the town center would have apartment space as well as commercial.

Cowell said those comments and the ongoing feedback will help guide RDG as it continues to solidify its ideas and prepare to present a more refined plan in February.

“Nothing here is set in stone by any means,” he said. “This is all for generating feedback and conversation with all of you.”