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New playground at the Grundy County lake campground

Grundy County Conservation Naturalist/Technician

January 14, 2012
Cole Anderson , Reinbeck Courier

The Grundy County Lake Park has been full of on-going projects for many years now. The park had its beginning due to highway 20 construction and the need for dirt, which provided the Grundy County Conservation Board the opportunity to acquire this beautiful 40-acre lake and over 200 acres of wildlife habitat. Recreational opportunities developed at the park include two shelters complete with charcoal grills, easy access fishing around the entire lake with a handicap accessible dock and a paved bike trail that begins in the town of Dike and circles around the lake. The 60 site modern campground was developed a short distance from the lake and connected to the lake side by a hard-surfaced trail. The development of the campground was a slow process to say the least. It seemed that anything that could go wrong did and at times it seemed like it would never be done. The process was long but by late summer 2010 we had the campground open. There was a dump station, electrical stations and water hook ups serving every site. And a great shower house that has 6 individual, private rooms with a shower in each one. But we soon found out that kids don't really care about dump stations and shower houses. We needed a playground!

Where do we start? All we knew for sure was that playgrounds cost an outrageous amount of money and we were already up to our ears with work that needed done. It was looking like the playground was going to have to wait a while longer, but then we were contacted by Scheels Sporting Goods. Scheels, Inc. was interested in sponsoring a project and they jumped at the chance to help out with a new playground at our campground. We came up with a design to get the ball rolling. We ordered equipment. We had to start and stop construction during the late summer months do to previously scheduled events, but by late summer 2011, we had the finished product for the kids to enjoy. The main structure of the playground has three platforms with a slide coming off each one. There are also two sets of swings and spring toys. We're hoping that having a playground in the campground might bring in a few more campers and it is easily accessed from the trail so that all park visitors can enjoy it. We do have some ideas for future development of the play area, but for now we feel like it's an awesome playground and kids seem to love it!

It was looking like a playground wasn't going to happen for a while until Scheels stepped in with their $5,200 donation. Although the total cost of the project was $16,244 their contribution got the ball rolling and made it possible for us to get the project done in a timely fashion. Scheels Sporting Goods supports Grundy County Conservation every year with several of our events and now they have continued their support with a new playground. We greatly appreciate it.

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