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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

00-00-04

Contacts:

Christopher J. Seeger, Design Extension, (515) 294-3648

Heather Sauer, College of Design communications, (515) 294-9289

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778

Iowa towns recognized for park and playground improvements

AMES, Iowa -- Eight Iowa towns have received 13 awards from the North Iowa Area Development (NIAD) Park Improvement Program for developing or improving parks and play spaces. The program, which is sponsored by Iowa State University, the NIAD Park and Tourism Committee and Winnebago Industries, Forest City, has helped improve the quality and design of community parks across north central Iowa since 1971.

Each summer, a team of judges visits parks in north central Iowa to provide site design and playground safety recommendations to communities that are developing new parks or improving existing spaces. The team meets with community leaders and park volunteers to review improvements made and to recommend future improvements.

Each community receives a written report documenting the team's design proposal and a simple concept plan that the community can use to guide future development, identify future improvements or secure project funding.

The team also conducts a regional park design workshop to exchange ideas and provide opportunities for guest speakers on design, materials and park safety.

The program's judging component involves evaluating improvements made and presenting cash awards that recognize and encourage the efforts of community volunteers.

This year, 16 communities submitted 21 applications for awards for completed improvements and/or consultation on future improvements.

Cash awards were given to the top three entries in each of three population categories:

Category 1 (Communities with population of less than 500)

  • $300 - East Park and Lake, Rudd
  • $200 - Hanlontown City Park, Hanlontown
  • $100 - Marble Rock City Park, Marble Rock

Category 2 (Communities with population of 500 - 5,000)

  • $300 - Wilder Park, Allison
  • $200 - Bob Muller Field Park, Osage
  • $100 - Elma City Park, Elma

Category 3 (Communities with population of more than 5,000)

  • $300 - Central Gardens of North Iowa, Clear Lake
  • $200 - Country Club Heights Park, Clear Lake
  • $100 - Bell Harbor Homeowners Association Park, Clear Lake
  • The program also presented four $50 awards in a new category, special recognition and encouragement:
  • Best volunteer program - Wilder Park, Allison
  • Volunteer program with the most potential - Central Gardens, Clear Lake
  • Most interesting play structure - Country Club Heights Park, Clear Lake
  • Potential trail and pond area - North Iowa Vocational Center Services of Mason City.

Funding for the awards was provided by The John K. and Luise V. Hanson Foundation and Winnebago Industries Foundation, both of Forest City.

Judging team members included Christopher Seeger, assistant professor of landscape architecture and ISU Extension landscape architect; Jill Lankford, research coordinator for the Sustainable Tourism and the Environment Program, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls; and Jack Leaman, landscape architect and planner, Mason City.

Based on the success of the NIAD program, the judging team is developing a statewide park improvement program.

a park

Clear Lake
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Rudd
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Rudd
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Allison
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Clear Lake, Allison and Rudd took top honors for towns of their size in a program that helps communities improve the quality and design of their parks and play spaces. Iowa State is one of the sponsors of The North Iowa Area Development Park Improvement Program.

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Rudd, more photos below
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Quick look

Eight Iowa towns have received 13 awards from the North Iowa Area Development (NIAD) Park Improvement Program for developing or improving parks and play spaces. The program, which is sponsored by Iowa State University, the NIAD Park and Tourism Committee and Winnebago Industries, Forest City, has helped improve the quality and design of community parks across north central Iowa since 1971.