North Liberty Cornerstone Park

North Liberty Cornerstone Park

Challenge

Cornerstone Park Nature Area, a 2.44 acre park, was donated to the city of North Liberty, Iowa in 2009. This parcel, located at the headwaters of Beaver Creek, was an undeveloped, underutilized property overgrown with weeds and insidious plants including garlic mustard and wild parsnip. Three sidewalks ended at the property boundary creating a discontinued public sidewalk system and less than desirable routes to a nearby elementary school. Overhead power lines and power poles cluttered the property and obstructed the view from an adjacent collector street. A master plan was developed for this property with a goal of revitalizing this unsightly area to a feature passive park that would promote walkability and interaction with nature with low impact on the environment.

Solution

The project involved design of six-foot wide pervious concrete walkways with 12-inch thick clean porous granular base, grading, storm sewer culverts/subdrains, relocation of power lines, a cast-in-place pedestrian bridge w/cultured stone veneer, lighting and prairie establishment. The city parks department consulted with the district forester to develop a forest management plan for removal of poor quality trees and underbrush and restoration of the site with high quality woodland area trees. The Iowa Concrete Paving Association was consulted and provided assistance with pervious pavement design and construction. City staff and volunteers removed garlic mustard and wild parsnip from the property.

The City received a $100,000 REAP grant and a $4,000 Trees Forever grant. The remainder of the project was locally funded.

Impact

The project eliminated dead end sidewalks and resulted in a pedestrian friendly route. The pervious concrete pavements and the establishment of prairie resulted in an environmentally sensitive and educational area.
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