Morgan Creek Park to expand near Highway 100 extension - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Morgan Creek Park to expand near Highway 100 extension

LINN COUNTY (KWWL) - In a few years, Linn County's 230-acre Morgan Creek Park will become much more.

"If you drove out to the park today, you won't appreciate what it's going to look like it the next 10 to 20 years," said Brent Oleson, Linn County Supervisor. "This is a first step in making that a flagship park for Linn County." 

On Friday, the Linn County Board of Supervisors approved plans to purchase more than 70 acres to expand the park, costing $1.735 million.

They hope to plant thousands of trees, add trails, and build a new arboretum center.

The park is adjacent to where Highway 100 will extend. The nearly 8-mile extension from Edgewood Road to Highway 30 has been controversial since it will go right past the Rock Island Botanical State Preserve.

"We had to make sure we were addressing environmental concerns, obviously for the animals that live up there that are on the threatened or endangered species list," said Cathy Cutler, Iowa DOT Planner. "In addition, there were a couple (of) plant species that were of concern."

The Iowa Department of Transportation created new habitats for the animals and will break ground on the new addition later this year.

County supervisors hope the addition to Morgan Creek Park will help address some concerns environmentalists still have about the extension.

"I think this will build a lot of goodwill with people who were sad to see some of that area go," said Oleson.

About two acres of land the county is buying will be sold to the DOT to help with the extension.

The first phase of the extension, from Edgewood Road to Covington Road, is expected to be finished in about five years. It will take a few more years to complete the roadway all the way to Highway 30.
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