Marshalltown residents who like the scenic landscape of Riverview Park will be delighted to learn the green space will remain in the public sphere for the next generation and beyond.
The Marshalltown City Council passed a resolution Monday that authorized the restriction of the park's use in light of Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) funding.
Terry Gray, Parks and Recreation director, said in order to secure reimbursement for trail and sidewalk work the city performed in 2012, it has to agree that the park will remain open to the public for the next 25 years.
T-R PHOTO BY DAVID ALEXANDER
A pedestrian walkway is shown here at Riverview Park Wednesday afternoon. For the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to reimburse the city for the $150,000 it spent to improve trails and sidewalks at the park, the city had to agree to keep the park public for 25 years.
"We couldn't sell it to somebody and not give the money back," Gray said.
The city spent $150,000 improving park connectivity, Gray said. The money comes by way of a Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) grant offered by the DNR.
That is fine by Gray. She said the city does not intend to change the park's function.
According to the DNR, the grant aims to, as the name suggests, maintain and bolster Iowa's natural and cultural resources.
And Gray said the addition of the trails certainly does that. The trails and walkways seem to increase connectivity between the park's different activity areas as well as how much people use the park, she said.
"You see them walking their dogs or with their kids with training wheels on their bikes," Gray said. "There is now just a way for people to walk through the park and not just walk in the grass."
After the 25-year provision expires, the city is free to change or remove the developments once it notifies the public and the DNR director.
The council's vote was unanimous.