Iowa City Park Projects News

Park Projects

Iowa City is home to over 50 parks and natural areas. Almost 100 percent of Iowa City live within 1/2 mile of open space areas, including the City's Parks or natural areas. The Parks and Recreation Department provides and maintains adequate open space, parks, and trails for the residents of Iowa City. 

This page provides updates on current and future park projects. 

If you have any questions regarding the following projects click here to contact us


City Park Adventure Play

A new, large play area is being constructed on the hillside between Upper and Lower City Park in 2019. Construction is expected to be completed in early summer 2020.


East Side Sports Complex

The East Side Sports Complex master plan was completed in May 2016. Public input meetings were held in Dec. 2015. The master planning phase for this sports complex is complete. The project has yet to receive funding for construction.


Fairmeadows Park Playground and Shelter

The Fairmeadows Park picnic shelter and playground are scheduled for renovations in 2020. A public input meeting was held at the park on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. The intention is to replace the current playground with a play area for preschool children as the Grant Wood Elementary playground is adjacent to the site. No changes are anticipated to the spray pad with this project. 


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.

REAP logo

Current status: The master planning phase of this project is complete. Bridge, trail, and sign work was completed in 2019.  Additional invasive species removal, streambank stabilization, and prairie restoration will take place in 2020 through funding from an Iowa DNR REAP Grant.


Napoleon Park Playground

The Napoleon Softball Complex playground has been removed and will be replaced in the spring of 2020 with three pods of play equipment near the concession building. 


Park Accessibility Improvements

This annual project addresses accessibility concerns to current park amenities largely consisting of additional paved paths. Projects in 2018 included Pheasant Hill, Mercer, Highland, Tower Court, and Villa Parks. 

Parks scheduled for accessibility improvements in 2020 include Brookland and Hunter's Run Parks.


Prairie Establishments

As part of the City’s Climate Action Initiative, beneficial prairie and native plantings will be planted on the City property. The Parks and Recreation Department will manage the establishment and maintenance of the prairie.


Scott Park

The Scott Park picnic shelter and playground are scheduled for renovations in 2020. The intention is to replace the shelter with a design specified in the 2017 Iowa City Park Master Plan. No changes are anticipated to Rita's Ranch Off-leash Dog Park, trails, athletic fields, or parking lot.


Wetherby Park

The Wetherby Park picnic shelter, restrooms, and playground are scheduled for renovations in 2020. 


Willow Creek Park 

This project replaces the Willow Creek Park shelter, restrooms, and playground. Completion is expected in early spring 2020.  Special attention is being given to creating a play space that is fun, inclusive, and accessible to a wide range of users. The Willow Creek playground was last renovated in 1997. The shelter and restroom predate the playground. 

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