Plans for bridge to Angels Park Memorial Island move ahead - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Plans for bridge to Angels Park Memorial Island move ahead

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EVANSDALE (KWWL) -

With a goal of making everyone welcome in the park, the City of Evansdale has given the green light to design and build a bridge to Angels Park Memorial Island on Meyer's Lake.  Currently, the island is connected by a makeshift dirt walkway.

The park was started and dedicated in part to cousins, Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, who were kidnapped near the lake and later found murdered.  Their murders remain unsolved.  The park also honors three other murder victims: Evelyn Miller, Donnisha Hill, and Lindsay Nichols.

Five years in the making, the island has become a place of remembrance for so many.  Elizabeth's father, Drew Collins, and her grandmother, Sharon King, say it is exciting to see the park come together.

 "It is unbelievable to me. I remember coming over here with a couple excavators. I didn't even know how to operate them; worked out here, pushing trees over. We had no idea what we were doing," recalled Drew Collins.

But over the years, with thousands of volunteer hours, the island has become a peaceful place.

"It means a lot of different things to different people," said Collins.

Each tree, bench and flower has been placed on the island with a purpose.

"A maple tree that a guy came all the way from Montana with his daughter; he just wanted to plant that tree," explained Collins.

As the park has come together, it has outgrown the dirt bridge that was placed there during construction.  The problem is, the island is handicap-accessible, and the trails leading up to the island are handicap-accessible, but the bridge is not.

"If it has rained previous to someone coming out here in a wheelchair, they will just sink," said Collins.

The plan is to replace the dirt walkway with a wooden bridge that is handicap accessible, so everyone can enjoy the park.

The city has received $160,000 in grants and is looking for $30,000 more to cover the estimated total cost of $190,000.  And the hope is to complete the bridge within the next year.

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