Advertisement

Subscribe
to the
Weekender

Advertisement

Iowa City Riverfront Crossings Park project receives federal grant for an inclusive nature play area


Construction on the Riverfront Crossings Park is shown July 24, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department announced this week it had been awarded a $157,300 grant from the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) for the Riverfront Crossings Park project now under construction. The grant, which will help pay for the park’s nature play area, came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund of the NPS.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund grant focuses on nature play opportunities, and our design was a really nice fit for that grant,” said Iowa City Parks and Recreation Director Juli Seydell Johnson. “Because the park will feature opportunities to enjoy nature in the middle of Iowa City.”

The nature play area will combine elements of a traditional playground — for example, slides and swings — with landscape-based elements, such as a small sculpted hill.

“We’re calling it a ‘tumble hill,’” Seydell Johnson said “It’s a green hill that kids will be able to roll down, with a tunnel underneath they can play in.”

The play area will also have a section where kids can play in Ralston Creek, as well as more adrenalin-tapping features like a zip line and kid’s obstacle course. “It’s like a mini-American Ninja Warrior course, for kids to run down, explore, jump and climb,” Seydell Johnson explained.

The nature play area will also conform to the accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Even with the tumble hill, people using mobility devices should be able to reach the top,” Seydell Johnson said. “We don’t put in parks that aren’t ADA compliant anymore.”

Even the zip line feature will be accessible, according to Seydell Johnson. “We’re putting in a dual zip line. It will have one side for children without disabilities, and the other side will have a special seat and accommodations for kids who need assistance to use the zip line.”

“We’ve tried to make the whole play area as inclusive as possible,” Seydell Johnson said.

In August, the city received a $50,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Walt Disney Company for the nature play area.


Blog Comments

What about adult playground equipment? So the parents can stand and look at their phone while the kids move about. How about just some adult jungle-gym stuff too, like on Venice beach? :(

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

BUY HALF-PRICE GIFT CARDS

WHAT TO READ NEXT

Posted by Paul Brennan
Sen. Joni Ernst unintentionally makes Iowans laugh by claiming Trump is a well-respected world leader
Laughter isn’t something that’s usually heard at Sen. Joni Ernst’s town hall meetings, but Ernst’s attempt to portray Donald Trump as a respected international leader caused the audience to burst...
Posted by Matthew Steele
“A beautiful run”: Steve Goetzelman plans to close 30th Century Bicycle on Valentine’s Day
30th Century Bicycle owner Steve Goetzelman announced on his Facebook profile today that he plans to close his popular downtown Iowa City bike shop on Valentine's Day. The business has...
Posted by Paul Brennan
‘We’re just talking about fair access to the system’: the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project helps people detained by ICE
The increase of the number of arrests by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of people suspected of being in the country illegally has made headlines over the past...