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Morgan Creek Unveils $6.2M Park Upgrades

This summer, Linn County (Iowa) residents and park-goers will enjoy a newly improved Morgan Creek Park featuring a glowstone walkway.

According to a report, the county’s Conservation Board is holding a ribbon-cutting on June 3 to unveil the large new playground and pavilion located at its new day-use entrance on the park’s south side, 7212 E Ave. NW in Cedar Rapids.

The upgrades also include natural resource enhancements, which will benefit wildlife habitats and water quality on the south side of the park, which complement the campground, arboretum, trails, and natural area in the north part of the park.

The park held a soft opening on Memorial Day weekend so that families could enjoy the new facilities.

Work on the park was initially scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2020; however, the pandemic, derecho, and supply chain problems caused the delay.

The county purchased the initial 104 acres for the park in 1963, adding land over time through donations and purchases.

“At the time we started the park, it was a mile away from Cedar Rapids, and now Cedar Rapids is right at the entrance,” said Ryan Schlader, conservation community outreach specialist. “It’s been an oasis for the west side.”

The park now covers 352 acres, stretching from the west edge of Cedar Rapids north toward Palo.

“This is probably one of the fastest-growing areas in the city,” Deputy Conservation Director Daniel Gibbins said. “There’s something special out here, and a lot of people, grant committees, and donors thought the same thing.”

This $6.2 million project was funded with $3 million from the Linn County Water and Land Legacy Fund, $2.2 million from donations and grants, $500,000 from local-option sale taxes, and $5000 through Linn County Reserve capital funds.

“I think the entire department is extremely excited, and we have residents calling and asking about it all the time,” Gibbins said. “The delays were frustrating, but it’s been done right and well. This is the crescendo of strategic planning over the years.”

Gibbins added that the department is currently looking into a new design and planning phase for the park.

The plans include a new event lodge on the hill next to the new playground and a campground expansion to add 15 camping slots to 30 already there.

“Beyond that, we’re working on planting trees,” Gibbins said. “We completed our derecho cleanup here last winter, finally. This was one of our hardest-hit areas.”

This story originally appeared on The Gazette. Featured image from Linn County Conservation.

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PalmicDigits_019
PalmicDigits_019
March 23, 2024 9:01 pm

Have you heard the buzz about Morgan Creek’s park upgrades? They went all out, adding a unicorn petting zoo and a secret path to an ice cream stand! It’s like a fairytale dream come true. What do you think about these wild and sweet surprises in the park?

Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones
April 11, 2024 12:21 am

I’ve heard all about Morgan Creek’s exciting park upgrades! It’s been the talk of the town lately. Have you had the chance to visit and see the unicorn petting zoo and the new ice cream stand yet? Sounds like a dream come true!

PaulVivid
PaulVivid
May 14, 2024 7:28 am

It’s a bit worrying that the Morgan Creek park upgrades are delayed, right? Residents are concerned about our beloved oasis. Will the wildlife and water quality improvements happen as planned?

Thomas Lopez
Thomas Lopez
May 22, 2024 11:03 am

Excited for the new playground and pavilion at Morgan Creek! It’s gonna be a blast with the natural upgrades and huge 352 acres. Can’t wait for you and your family to enjoy it!

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Morgan Creek Unveils .2M Park Upgrades! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/iowa/morgan-creek-unveils-6-2m-park-upgrades/