One Year Later: College Green Park

By: Steve Nicoles, Reporter


By Steve Nicoles

IOWA CITY – Last April’s tornado ravaged College Green Park. For weeks after the storm, dead trees and debris littered the park. But some school children helped bring the park back to life.

People enjoy parks for different reasons. For the kids at Willow Wind School, the park is an escape from class.

Ten-year-old Mark Coretsopoulos said, “It means that I have a really fun place to play with my friends."

But for a few weeks last year the park was off limits. April's tornado uprooted trees. Shards of glass lay in the grass ready to attack unsuspecting feet.

Eleven-year-old Emma Kaboli said, “It was so sad to see the park because there was trash everywhere."

Ten-year-old Ben Sindt said, “I can kind of envision it after the tornado with just a lot of stuff on the ground."

But Ben and his buddies can soar on the swings again. Students from Willow Wind volunteered to help clean up the area. And the students are back to having fun and enjoying College Green Park.

Eight-year-old Savannah Kouri said, “I just like all the nature and so many wonderful things that are here."

But not everything is just as it was.

Eight-year-old Maggie Terry said, “A pine tree and me and my friend always used to go there and build fairy houses."

All that is left of Maggie's tree now is just some roots that are breaking out of the ground.

She said, “When the tree over there got taken out by the tornado I was really sad because I couldn't build fairy houses like I used to."

But Maggie and her friends still have the playground. It is their escape from class into a world of fun and make-believe.

E-mail Steve Nicoles at

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