CLINTON – If you’ve noticed big changes in some of Clinton’s monuments in recent years, you can’t imagine a thing.
The Clinton Parks and Recreation Department has worked hard with several projects, grants, and awards aimed at improving popular public places. This includes places like the riverside, Emma Young Park, and local soccer fields.
It’s a busy time.
“We have a lot of things to do, and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Joshua Eggers, director of parks and recreation for Clinton. “We have been very well supported by the city, very well supported by the municipal council, the administrator and the mayor… it is really a good work team at the moment.”
Here are some of the major projects underway:
PEOPLE VOTE FOR SOCCER UPDATES
Recently, the Jurgenson football field at the southern end of town has been completely rebuilt.
And people have spoken – they love it.
The project, which was completed in 2020, was entered by the city in the Iowa League of Cities People’s All-Star Award competition. This was set up in a parenthesis system and pitted projects from 16 cities across the state against each other.
Community members had to share and vote, and each vote helped the project move on to the next round.
“I think what’s interesting to me is that I was going into the store and people would stop and say ‘Hey, I just checked out, we’re in first place,’” Eggers said. “People seemed really invested and engaged. Everyone shared it and followed it. People really rallied around the project.
In the end, Clinton ended up in the final against Marshalltown and won by 1,500 votes. Townspeople have proven themselves proud of the improvements to the soccer field.
The Jurgenson Soccer Complex began as a three-level park. Funded by the Clinton County Development Association in partnership with the Wild Rose Casino and Resort and capital improvement funds, the project leveled the entire area and resurfaced.
“We were getting too big for this space and playing at three different locations,” Eggers said. “We wanted to expand and develop the southwest corner, then flatten all three levels into a bigger area so we could streamline all of our football into one central location. “
The complex is already bearing fruit. In addition to bringing all the football games together in one location, the facility was able to host a 7v7 touch football tournament this summer, a sport that is growing in popularity across the state. They hope to incorporate club tournaments and other sports into the newly updated facility.
Eggers says the new sporting opportunities are endless.
Adding that the community has proven its involvement, it was a big step for Clinton Parks and Recreation on many levels.
“I think it means the community is ready to change, is ready to improve,” Eggers said. “He wants to see things that will not only bring better facilities to Clinton, but also things that will attract foreigners to come here.” We now have the ability to host not only our own programs, but we can also host leagues and club tournaments.
POND EMMA YOUNG TO RENEW
The pond that sits at the edge of Emma Young Park has long been a popular spot, whether for first-time fishing trips or just relaxing on the sheltered deck.
He had looked a little green the past few years, however.
Parks and Recreation is currently in the process of emptying and completely filling this pond.
If you’ve been to Emma Young Park recently, the place where the pond is usually is is quite different. The old pavilion has been demolished and there is no more water after the pond is drained.
“The intention here is to take the pond, which has filled with sediment over the years, and double the depth,” Eggers said. “We will restock him with bass, bluegill, catfish and maybe trout later.”
This project was 100 percent funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources Development and Protection. The pond currently sits at an average depth of five feet, with plans to move it to 10.
The water will be recharged naturally by the runoff of the rains.
“It helps prevent a lot of the growth of algae and things that create unhealthy habitat for fish species,” Eggers added.
Finally, the project will also add a brand new Pond Bridge Pavilion when all is said and done, adding another new facility to Emma Young Park.
EXCITEMENT OF THE SPORTS COMPLEX
One big project that doesn’t necessarily have any physical progress at the moment is the idea of a new sports complex coming to town.
It’s a big deal and it’s still in its early stages, but it has already generated a lot of excitement in the community and the Clinton Parks and Recreation Department.
Last year, the Department of Parks and Recreation released a community survey that helped determine community interest in the possibility of a sports complex in Clinton.
“The response has been very favorable,” Eggers said. “When we talk about the Jurgenson complex and the quality of its welcome, I think people are just as, if not more, excited about a sports complex. “
The idea would be to expand the Ericksen Community Center and add more fields, as well as outdoor ball fields and the possibility of an indoor grass pitch all the way down.
“We just exceeded the facilities we have,” Eggers said. “We’re competing for the gym space, which we just don’t have. “
Currently, the project is still in its infancy. They have completed the feasibility study and assessed the aspects of interest to the community and now they are embarking on the conceptualization. They figure out what facilities should be integrated, what amenities are important to the community, and how that would fit into a budget.
It’s really starting to spell out what the project would look like and kind of conceptualize a price tag, Eggers said.
Once this part is completed at their level, they would prepare it for a referendum on which the city will vote in the future. This would then establish a budget and funding for the project and approve it through the city administration.
“It’s still preliminary, but the community gave a lot of feedback through the survey which identified what type of spaces they want, what they would use, how often they could use the space if it came true, ”Eggers said. “I think that was a good guide for us to see which direction they want us to go.
“We see daily in Parks and Recreation that we are limited in gym space. It’s another thing for the community to have a say so that they can rally and support what they want to see in our community. I think when you put these together you can identify exactly what this facility needs to look like in order to meet the needs of parks and recreation in general and to meet the needs of our community.
MARINA IN HOPE FOR A SUBSIDY
Another project that the Clinton Parks and Recreation Department hopes to implement involves major improvements to the Clinton Marina.
The Parks and Recreation Department has applied for a grant of $ 400,000 through Community Attractions and Tourism. This grant would help modernize the marina.
“People don’t always think of parks, recreation and the marina together,” Eggers said. “But we have a lot of hands in the community that maybe not everyone understands.”
Part of that would help expand the marina, adding additional slides. The money would also move the holiday deck and add additional covered slips to those that already exist.
It would also help move the store from the marina to the water, closer to those who use it regularly.
The grant has only been requested and the city is waiting to know if it has been chosen. The plans will be finalized if funds are allocated for the improvements.