Whitewater Playpark expected to bring many to Eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Whitewater Playpark expected to bring many to Eastern Iowa


In 2008, the Turkey River crested and swept into downtown Elkader. The river flooded many homes and businesses, posing a problem for those in the community. But its that river that is now bringing hope to community. The city plans to install nearly 200 feet long Whitewater Playpark on that river in downtown Elkader.

Roger Thomas is on the Economic Development Council in Elkader. He says the Whitewater Playpark is not a course, but a spot for people to go and play.

"What they do is they don't go down through a course, they go into one feature and they play in there. They kind of park and then when someone is out the other goes in and plays a little bit." Thomas said.

The idea for the playpark came from several very active kayakers in the Elkader community after the 2008 floods. The playpark will be created by placing massive boulders in the river. It will allow kayakers, canoeists, people in inner tubes and even on stand up paddle boards to all come out and play. The city hopes the Whitewater Playpark attracts many families to live in the Elkader area.

"We are hoping that this will generate some excitement to young families that would come here and live, build a home, start a business." Thomas said.

Thomas is also hopeful the playpark will attract tourists as well.

"I'm optimistically hopefully 100,000 people will come and visit Elkader. We are kind of a shopping destination now with our antique stores and specialty stores. But the river is going to add to that." Thomas said.

The Whitewater Playpark currently costs $441,000. It will be funded through several sources including an I-Jobs Grant. The boulders are set to be placed in the river this fall.

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