Planning and project updates

Gather Here Parks Master Plan

Iowa City Parks & Recreation needs your help envisioning the future of the Iowa City parks system through the “Gather Here” Parks planning initiative. This plan provides a study of the City’s current active park areas to evaluate accessibility, condition and lifespan of the facilities, as well as providing a visioning component to determine the park amenities and facilities desired by the community. The goal is to shape the park system and facilities in their role as gathering spaces for the Iowa City community.

This plan will focus on the department’s outdoor spaces, and not address the programs or services based inside the recreation centers or City Park Pool.

RDG Design of Des Moines was selected to lead this 9-month project. The outcome will be a prioritized plan to guide maintenance and plans for additions to park facilities.

The master plan process began at the end October with a series of community focus groups geared at soliciting feedback on current facilities to determine accessibility and maintenance concerns. A public input open house was held in conjunction with the Iowa City Holiday Market on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center.

Send us photos of park amenities on your wish list, or photos of your favorite parks in Iowa City. These along with your comments will help inform our park system-wide master plan process. Leave your feedback here: http://www.icparksmasterplan.com/


Natural Areas Master Plan

The goal of this planning process is to study and assess the functional, economic, recreational, and aesthetic value of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation system's natural areas. The final product will inform a 10-year management plan intended to protect the value of these sites.

Project milestones:

  • Project Initiation & internal kickoff meeting:  Oct. - Nov. 2016
  • Aerial Photography:  Nov. 10, 2016
  • Existing Data Compilation & Review:  Dec. 2016 - March 2017
  • Field Preparation:  Mar 2017 Field Inventory & Assessment:  April - July 2017
  • Prioritization of Maintenance & Staffing Recommendations: Aug. 31, 2017
  • City Policy & Ordinance Review & Recommendations:  Sept. 30, 2017
  • Draft Management Plan:  Oct. 15, 2017
  • Final Management Plan:  Dec. 31, 2017

Applied Ecological Services of Minnesota was selected to lead this 9-month project. Questions, contact Juli Seydell Johnson at 319-356-5100.


Cardigan Park

The City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department launched the Cardigan Park planning process in September 2016. A public input meeting was held on September 7, 2016.

View the park plan here.

Current status: Design on this project is complete and a funding request has been made for 2018.


East Side Sport Complex

The East Side Sport Complex master plan was completed in May, 2016. Public input meetings were held in Dec., 2015. The plan is proposed as a multi-phase construction project.

View the sports complex plan here.

Current status: The master planning phase for this sports complex is complete. The project has yet to receive funding for construction.


Frauenholtz-Miller Park

The City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department launched the Frauenholtz-Miller planning process in September 2016. A public input meeting was held on September 15, 2016.

View the park plan here.

Current status: Design on this project is complete and will go to bid during winter 2017 with construction planned for the following spring.


Hickory Hill Park

The City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, in coordination with Friends of Hickory Hill Park, completed a master plan for Hickory Hill Park in 2016. Public input meetings were held on March 13, 2016 and May 15, 2016.

View the park plan here.

Current status: The master planning phase of this project is complete. Design work will be completed during the winter of 2017. Upgrades to trails, bridges and signage are scheduled for summer 2017. 


Lower City Park

The Lower City Park master plan was completed in March, 2016. Public input meetings were held in Oct., 2015. The plan is proposed as a multi-phase construction project.

View the park plan here.

Current status: The master planning phase for this park is complete. The project has yet to receive funding for construction.


Riverfront Crossings

The Riverfront Crossings Park master plan was completed in May, 2015. A public open house meeting discussing this first phase of the project was held Nov. 2, 2016. Phase 1 will focus on restoration of Ralston Creek, wetland creation, and providing trail connections to the surrounding neighborhoods.

The complete park master plan can be viewed here.

Phase one of the park plan can be viewed here.

Current status: The master planning phase of this project is complete. Phase 1 of the Riverfront Crossings Park project is slated for construction in late summer 2017. Additional areas of the park will be developed in the future as funding becomes available. 

Learn more about the greater Riverfront Crossings Development here.