Fairfield Ledger

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2016

Washington County campsite to be ADA compliant

By JOHN BUTTERS Golden Triangle News Service | Oct 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, Iowa (GTNS) – The Washington County Conservation Board received updates on two projects under construction in Marr Park.

Conservation Board Executive Director Steve Anderson said conctete has been poured for a campsite that is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications.

The project is projected to cost $10,000. It includes pouring concrete pads to provide access to campground amenities such as picnic tables, grills and electric and water hookups.

The campsite would also provide wheelchair access to the park’s shower facilities.

Concrete is also being poured for construction of a 50 foot-by-100 foot cold storage shed. The building will be used to store equipment and protect county resources.

The $92,000 project is scheduled for completion in the remaining months of this year.

In other business the county received an update on timber improvements at Sockum Ridge.

The conservation board has contracted with Complete Forestry Service for understory tree removal on approximately 14 acres in Sockum. The contract calls for trees that are not oak, shagbark hickory, or walnut, and larger than 2 inches in diameter, to be culled.

The project, budgeted for $2,450, began recently and should be completed during the winter months. No timber removal will take place during shotgun deer season.

Once the understory trees have been culled, the staff will conduct a prescribed burn next spring. The goal, Anderson said, is to allow sunlight into the timber stands so that shade-intolerant species can flourish. Acorns and other seeds need sun to germinate and grow.

The board has also entered into a timber management contract with Strongarm Wood Services to remove understory brush at Foster Woods County Park near Wellman.

The contract calls for the company to remove brush and 39 trees at no cost to the county in exchange for firewood and one-half the lumber value of the designated trees.

The timber management program is part of a larger effort to restore the park to its original condition. Board members also plan to improve the pond and restock it with fish. The project includes adding facilities and stabilizing the trails.

The multi-stage project is projected to cost $75,000. Grants and in-kind payments could reduce the final cost.

The board agreed to redirect Kewash Trail traffic to the new Keota Trailhead being constructed on the west side of the community.

The Keota Visioning Committee has constructed a new trail bed and is preparing for the permanent closure of a portion of the current trail.

The previous trailhead will be abandoned at a later date, but a neighboring business has asked that hikers and bikers use the newly constructed trail to avoid business traffic.

Barriers will be placed across the trail and signing will redirect those using it to the new, safer trailhead.

In approving the request, board member Lyle Moen pointed out that the new trailhead was designed to accomplish that very goal.

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