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CENTER JUNCTION, Iowa – A celebration of the lake restoration efforts at Central Park in Jones County will be held Sept. 5th, from 5-7:30 pm at the beach at Central Park Lake, located at 12515 Central Park Road, in Center Junction.
A grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will be held at 5:30 p.m. to officially celebrate the park’s completion of lake restoration activities. The celebration will highlight many of the lake and watershed restoration efforts that have helped improve water quality at Central Park Lake.
The event is free to the public and will feature a variety of environmental and recreational family-friendly activities including: free paddleboat and kayak rentals, a kids casting station, a nature center open house, fishing tackle giveaways, rod/reel checkouts, and educational booths. Families are encouraged to bring their own picnic to the event.
Project partners began meeting in 2012 to develop and execute a comprehensive restoration strategy for the park. Together they developed a watershed management plan and work started in 2013 to improve water quality in the watershed, including adding 77 new parkland acres and creating two ponds and two wetlands within the watershed to improve water quality in the lake.
The Jones County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began in-lake restoration work in 2017, removing over 130,000 cubic yards of excess sediment from the lake, protecting shorelines from erosion, rebuilding boat ramp and parking lot, renovating the beach, and adding informational kiosks and a new accessible fishing pier.
The total investment for watershed and in-lake restoration efforts is $3.8 million. Project partners include: Jones County Conservation Board, the Iowa DNR, The US Environmental Protection Agency, Wellmark, Parks to People, Grant Wood Loop, REAP, and the Jones County Courthouse.