The open house is intended to provide park neighbors and others interested in the project with an opportunity to view maps and conceptual designs that incorporate landmark trees into a naturalized park with trails, native prairie, interpretive education signage and a natural playscape. The public will have an opportunity to talk to staff and architects about their desired use and vision for the park.
“This new park is within walking distance of hundreds of homes where no other park exists. Unlike other neighborhood parks in our system, this park will have a more natural play space feel that takes advantage of the huge trees that were planted decades ago. It will be a special place for the neighborhood, and we hope they’ll come and tell us what they think,” said Sven Leff, Parks and Recreation Director.
Hughes Park consists of 7.3 acres that were purchased for $403,000 in 2016. The Parks and Recreation Department received a $300,000 grant from the Iowa DNR’s Resource Enhancement and Protection program, commonly referred to as REAP, to assist with acquiring the park. The land was purchased for the purpose of creating a neighborhood park in the southwest quadrant, an area that had been identified in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan as having a deficiency in green space accessible to the public. The timeline for developing the park is five years.