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Iowa City May Add “Whitewater Park”

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IOWA CITY - Iowa City officials are considering making the site of the old wastewater treatment plant in Iowa City into a whitewater park. The city is in the process of deciding how it will develop the old treatment plant, 1000 S. Clinton St., as part of the Riverfront Crossings District.

“It’s another exciting project that could or could not happen and it’s worth exploring,” said Mike Moran, director of city parks and recreation. “It’d be a temporary dam system that would divert water [from the Iowa River] through the park for whitewater, for canoeing, tubing, kayaking.”

The city council will vote to hire a park planner at a meeting Tuesday night. The planner would be asked to design two possible concepts for the park.

“A park with both active adventure sports components along with more passive elements, such as trails, wetlands, and usable green space,” the city lists as the first option.

“A concept for a similar active/passive park that includes a whitewater course that flows through the park,” the city lists as the second option.

Moran said there is not yet an estimated cost for the project. He said they hope to have a concept by the end of the year, with implementation lasting one to two years.

The city had previously discussed knocking down the Burlington St. dam to build a whitewater course, but Moran said the proposal turned out not to be feasible.