State recreation area in Dubuque vandalized - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State recreation area in Dubuque vandalized


One of Iowa's state recreation areas is asking for the public's help after recent vandalism.

The Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, just outside Dubuque in the county, had some person or people damage a viewing platform this week and, in mid-February, a telescope.

Park ranger Wayne Buchholtz has since made initial repairs on the viewing platform and is working on the telescope, but he said the estimated damages total more than $1,200.

"It doesn't make me feel good," Buchholtz said Thursday. "I guess in some ways you almost get used to it, but there have just been a couple of incidents lately that are just senseless acts that are happening."

Buchholtz said the last car seen near the viewing platform before the vandalism likely occurred was a red compact car with the front bumper damaged with a part hanging off. That was Monday around 5 p.m. Buchholtz said he'd like to question the two young men he saw in the car.

The viewing platform was an Eagle Scout project about five years ago and the telescope was a gift from the Dubuque Audubon Society.

Buchholtz said the park has also seen a couple of car break-ins and encourages anybody who leaves their car to explore the park to keep their valuables locked in the trunk and out of plain view.

He encourages anybody who ever sees anything suspicious in the park to call the park office immediately.

Buchholtz asks anyone with possible information about the vandalism to contact the Mines of Spain office at 563.556.0620 or

The Mines of Spain also has many classes free and open to the public. For more information on those and on the park, click HERE.

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