Terry Trueblood, the City of Iowa City's former Parks and Recreation Director, had a dream: to turn a former sand and gravel quarry south of Iowa City into a recreational area that would become a destination point for people who love the outdoors. On August 24 and 25, his dream will become a reality as the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department and Parks and Recreation Foundation host a grand opening for the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, located at 579 McCollister Boulevard.
Sadly, Trueblood, who worked for the City from 1986 to 2009, will not witness the dedication of the park that now bears his name. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2009, just three years after the quarry was acquired and plans for the recreation area were getting underway. But his vision has proved to be right on target, as the City's newest park has already gained an active following from outdoor enthusiasts who regularly visit the park to enjoy its 207 acres of riverfront, lake, prairie, and timber property, and utilize numerous recreational amenities including picnic shelters, fishing piers and jetties, and a paved trail around the 95-acre lake.
The two-day grand opening gets underway on Saturday, August 24 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by tours of the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area that will run through 1 p.m. New construction projects that will be unveiled during the tours include a lodge adjacent to the lake that is available for weddings and special event rental, and a small boat marina that provides canoes, kayaks and other outdoor equipment for short-term rental. Other events on Saturday include fishing, lake sports, bird-watching, live music, bounce houses for the kids, and other recreational activities.
On Sunday, August 25, the first annual Terry Trueblood Walk for Pancreatic Cancer is scheduled. The money raised from the $25 per person registration fees will be divided between the American Cancer Society and a special fund that will be used for upkeep of the recreation area. Participants should visit www.icgov.org/pr to sign up through the Parks and Recreation Department's ActiveNet system, and then report to the registration table at the park at noon on August 25 to check in. The walk is officially scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Walk-in registrations will also be taken on the day of the event, beginning at noon. Plans call for this to become an annual event, scheduled each year around Trueblood's August 29th birthday.
Those who are unable to participate but who would like to donate to the fund may make checks payable to the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Foundation and send them to: City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: Terry Trueblood Fundraiser, 220 S. Gilbert Street, Iowa City, IA 52240.
For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation office at 319/356-5100 or visit www.icgov.org/pr.