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Old Cedar Rapids Landfill Gets Winter Recreation Test

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CEDAR RAPIDS- Could Eastern Iowans someday find winter fun at an old Cedar Rapids landfill?

That idea was put to the test Friday afternoon.

Long time Cedar Rapids Mayor Don Canney came up the with name Mt. Trashmore in the 1960's. And he was the first to suggest, seriously, that a closed landfill could eventually be used for skiing or sledding.

Two city council members and several others put that idea to the test. At large council member Tom Podzimek said "the reason we're out here today is to spark the imagination of the community to see what they'd like and what direction they'd like us to go."

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency gave permission to try out the hill. Skiers, sledders and even snowboards walked up and slid down. All seemed to think if you add tow roads, warming sheds and other facilities you'd have something people would pay to use.

One tester, Mark Patterson, said "you don't need long routes down (for snowboarders) need a little area...back up and down and you'd have a lot of fun."

There are obstacles to any use of the old Cedar Rapids landfill, which closed in 2006, for winter recreation. For one, more than 40 methane wells dot the landscape with pipes protruding from the ground.

The capping of the landfill hill is nearly complete--but the settling process may go on for years. So any recreational ideas at all are probably years away.

And one reminder...the landfill ski trip Friday was just a one time experiment. The hill is not open to the public.