Riverfront Crossings Park holds grand opening

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Riverfront Crossings Park Grand Opening

Riverfront Crossings Park — Saturday, June 20 at 3-10:30 p.m.

Riverfront Crossings Park. Thursday, July 18, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Riverfront Crossings Park, the newest addition to Iowa City’s public parks, will have its grand opening on Saturday. The opening day festivities are scheduled to start at 3 p.m., with an art project in the park’s Nature Play Area for kids to participate in, as well as other family friendly activities.

Food trucks will arrive at 6 p.m., and live music starts at 7 p.m. EleanorGrace, an emerging artist from Des Moines, will perform first, followed by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, one of the most famous groups to emerge from the fertile mixture of traditional jazz and hip hop in 1980s New Orleans.

The opening day activities will conclude with a fireworks show over the Iowa River at 10 p.m.

The Nature Play Area in the new Riverfront Crossings Park. Thursday, July 18, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The new park is located on the former site of the city’s waste-water treatment plant, which was damaged in the 2008 flood. The plant was demolished in 2015, and planning for the park — part of the larger Riverfront Crossings District Master Plan — began the following year.

“One goal of this park development was to encourage redevelopment of the neighborhoods surrounding the park into a walkable/bikeable urban area supporting a diverse mix of residents who wish to live and work in the downtown urban area,” according to a fact sheet from the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department.

Part of the Nature Play Area at the Riverfront Crossings Park in Iowa City. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The 17-acre park, which runs along the Iowa River between Kirkwood Avenue and Hwy. 6, features trails, restored wetlands and a nature play area geared towards kids 12 and under. The overall design of the park is supposed to help protect neighboring properties from future flooding.

The total cost of Riverfront Crossings Park so far is approximately $5.6 million, and the construction has been financed by a combination of grants and revenue from the city’s general obligation bonds. Work on the park will continue after Saturday, including the completion of a second pedestrian bridge and the construction of a performance area.

Free parking is available at the Kirkwood Avenue end of the park.

The zipline at Riverfront Crossings Park in Iowa City. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

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