The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has awarded the City of Dubuque a grant of $200,000 from Resource Enhancement and Protection commonly referred to as REAP.
The grant money will be used for an Environmental Restoration Project at Eagle Point Park, a 164-acre community park that opened in 1909 on Dubuque’s northeast side. Eagle Point Park is owned by the City of Dubuque and managed by the Leisure Services Department’s Park Division. The park overlooks the Mississippi River, providing a spectacular view of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.
REAP invests in projects that enhance and protect the Iowa’s natural and cultural resources. 15% of REAP is set aside for grants to cities for projects that help establish natural areas, encourage outdoor recreation, and resource management.
Over time, Eagle Point Park’s multipurpose green space and natural wooded hillsides have experienced severe erosion and sediment loss. Invasive plant species have added to the storm water management issues on the park’s rolling and rugged terrain. Environmental restoration is needed to mitigate and reverse these impacts. All of this environmental work must be done within the context of the park’s rich cultural history.
The Eagle Point Park Environmental Restoration Project will incorporate the park’s historic features and landscape restoration plans with sustainable best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate stormwater runoff, prevent soil erosion, and remove invasive species throughout the cultured grounds and natural areas of Eagle Point Park. The REAP grant will cover all project costs.
The first phase of this project will be for the City to retain experts in landscape architecture, environmental engineering, and ecological restoration who have expertise in the design of ecologically sustainable BMPs in context with the park’s many historic and cultural assets. The second phase will be development and implementation of the Management Plan for Environmental Restoration at Eagle Point Park. The project will be completed over a two-year time frame, beginning in January 2016.
In addition to the REAP grant, the City of Dubuque has assembled a historic preservation team to nominate the park to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and to conduct a Phase 1 Archeological Survey. The NRHP nomination will provide important information on the historic contexts, cultural themes, and architectural significance of the park’s buildings and landscape. The Archeology Survey will allow the City to identify any archeologically sensitive areas. With this information, the City can avoid any sensitive areas when undertaking environmental restoration.