Your Village: What is the construction project behind Big Grove Brewery and Taproom?

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Construction crane working on Riverfront Crossings Park behind Big Grove Brewery and Taproom. — photo by Paul Brennan

“What are they building west of Big Grove? A pond?” — Richard, Iowa City, via Facebook

“It’s going to be a city park,” said John Yapp of the Iowa City Department of Neighborhood and Development Services. “What they’re doing right now is regrading it for wetlands restoration.”

The construction is the first phase of the Riverfront Crossings Park. Five acres of wetlands bordering the Iowa River and Ralston Creek are being restored in the area behind Big Grove Brewery and Taproom, which is on Gilbert Street near Highway 6. There will be a boardwalk trail through the wetlands, and an area that allows visitors to explore Ralston Creek. A play area incorporated into the natural setting will eventually be added.

In addition to creating new recreational opportunities, the restored wetlands will help with flood mitigation.

The complete plan for Riverfront Crossings Park is available on the city’s website.

“Riverfront Crossings Park is set to be the new gathering place for Iowa City residents,” Parks and Recreation Department director Juli Seydell Johnson told Little Village in June.

Update: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to John Yapp as Richard Yapp. Little Village regrets this error.

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