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'We need to get the secret out'
Residents, officials celebrate the grand opening of Terry Trueblood park

It took almost seven years, but the vision of former Iowa City Parks and Recreation Director Terry Trueblood has come to fruition.

On Saturday, more than 150 residents, elected officials and city employees attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Terry Trueblood Park, the city’s biggest park.

“It all started with a vision that Terry Trueblood and others in positions of leadership had years ago and a lot of effort from then until now,” Mayor Matt Hayek said before the ribbon cutting. “This is really a day for the greater region, for Iowa Citians and for people who love community assets, public assets and the betterment of an incredible place.”

More than 200 acres, with half that space occupied by the lake, the park is Iowa City’s largest recreation area — featuring about 2 miles of concrete trail, fishing access, a small boat marina and an events lodge.

The park is named after former Iowa City recreation director of 23 years, Terry Trueblood, who was a key figure in turning what was once an old gravel pit into a park.

Patrick Fisher, Trueblood’s grandson, also spoke during the event.

“We’re very proud to have this park named after grandpa, both in memory of his many accomplishments and the memory of the person that he was,” Fisher said.

The initial price tag for the entire development project was $6.3 million. The city got assistance from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Natural Resources Commission, along with private support through the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Another key factor in funding the project was donations.

Cindy Parsons and Diane Allen, co-presidents with Project Green, which made a $75,000 commitment to the park for landscaping, said they were delighted with the park now that work is completed.

“Everything is top-notch, everything was really well done,” Allen said. “There’s so much to offer for people in town, it’s a secret right now and we need to get the secret out.”

The city has partnered with sporting goods store Fin and Feather to offer water equipment rentals.

The shop offers canoes, kayaks, pedal cruisers and stand-up paddleboards, in addition to concession snacks and drinks. Rentals start at $10 per hour.

On Sunday, park visitors will gather for the first Trueblood Walk for Pancreatic Cancer, which organizers hope will become an annual event. Proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society and to maintain the park.

Reach Mitchell Schmidt at maschmidt@press-citizen.com or at 887-5402.


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