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Union Grove looking to build new cabin

November 16, 2012
Traer Star-Clipper

Union Grove State Park has been selected as the second project of the Iowa Parks Foundation. The project will be the construction of a new cabin. Also of great news is there has already been $120,000 designated for the project. The Iowa DNR has appropriated $90,000 and the Iowa Parks Foundation is contributing $30,000. Private and business donations are needed to raise the remaining $30,000.

The new cabin will feature heat and air conditioning for year-round use. It sleeps four with a bedroom and a futon in the living area. There will be a fully-equipped kitchen, full bath, and covered patio. The cabin will be built on the south side of the lake, in a wooded setting, with easy lake access. It is also adjacent to the campground.

Cabins are extremely popular in state parks. They give park users the opportunity to stay in the park and enjoy nature and outdoor recreation. While the in the park they hike, fish, swim and boat. In today's high tech world people need outdoor recreation more than ever to unwind, exercise, and relax.

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Parks are also important to local communities. In addition to providing outdoor recreation for their citizens, they also attract others to the area. Park visitors purchase groceries, gas, visit local restaurants and other community attractions. They make local communities more attractive to businesses and people looking to move into the area.

The Iowa Parks Foundation's objective is to partner public funding with private money to achieve greater improvements in Iowa's State Parks. Also, pairing private monies with the public helps to reduce burdens on tax revenue. Local support of the park is important to the Foundation.

Union Grove has enjoyed a great public/private relationship. Two years ago the park received a large financial donation which was generously matched by the DNR. The result was a major campground rejuvenation including a shower building, 9 full hook ups with water, septic, and electricity, two new electrical sites, and a cabin. The new cabin will be similar to this existing one.

This year the Iowa DNR worked with Lake Park Holding, a local support group for the park, to purchase 110 acres of land in the parks watershed. This purchase will insure better protection of the lake's water quality.

Even the wind storm of July 11, 2011 couldn't dampen the private enthusiasm for Union Grove. Local citizens teamed up with Trees Forever to replace trees lost in the storm. Especially exciting has been the involvement of local youth including Gladbrook's 4H and Scout groups along with students from Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School.

The Iowa Parks Foundation looks forward to joining with private supporters of Union Grove to keep the park's momentum moving forward. Please help with a donation towards the park's newest improvement. Please make checks payable to the "Iowa Parks Foundation", which is a tax deductible 501 (c) (3) charity, and will hold funds for this project until distributed to complete the project. In the notation part of the check please write "Union Grove". Send checks to "Iowa Parks Foundation" c/o Joe Gunderson, 321 E. Walnut Street, Suite 300, Des Moines, Iowa, 50309. Further questions should be sent to Roger Thompson Union Grove Park Manager at 641-473-2556 or Iowa Parks Foundation board member Ann Raisch at 641-640-0145.



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