A Sioux City project 10 years in the making is becoming a reality. When it's done, Cone Park, will be the only recreational area of its kind in our tri-state area.
City leaders and park organizers marked the progress with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the new park Thursday morning.
It's located out by Lewis and Clark Park, using city-owned land between Singing Hills and Sertoma Park.
The four-million dollar project is made possible in part by a trust fund left by the late Ruth Cone.
Jenna Rehnstrom has more on the project in a live report.
If you can picture the potential of this area, it's hard not to get excited about what it will become.
A first of it's kind winter park in Sioux City, which opportunities for recreation year round.
After 10 years, organizers are thrilled to see this become reality.
Matt Salvatore, Sioux City Parks and Rec says, "It's the result of a lot of hard work for over 10 years..."
Cone Park has a long... and at times... challenging history.
The orginal plan for Cone Park was to create a downtown urban park.
When that idea didn't work out attention shifted to creating a space the community could use year round and something that no other park in Sioux City could offer.
" It's really going to transform the area behind us. It was just city owned park, just green space that we had. It's really going to transform it into a new and exciting space for us." says Cone Park Committee Co-Chair Virginia Anderson.
This area will be what Sioux Cityians themselves say they want after time spent doing community surveys and getting public input.
Matt Salvatore says, "We're going to have our tubing hill, will kind of be the featured facility; it's going to have snow making, a magic carpet, and it's going to be lit for nighttime use."
There will also be a day lodge for park-goers to warm up and rent during the off season. And, an ice skating rink that will double as a splash pad in the summer. A truly unique Sioux City experience.
Craig Berenstein, Cone Park Committee Co-Chair says, "To realize that we're here today with a phenomenal opportunity with Cone Park. We believe we have a concept that is unmatched."
Crews will start to move dirt next week and they'll work as much as they can throughout the winter.
Cone Park is slated to open December of 2017.
Cone Park will also include a 1.5 mile recreational loop.
Meanwhile just east of the Cone Park site sits a well established city park. Sertoma Park covers 42 acres and continues to be developed.
In addition to a playground and pavilion, there's a brand new beautiful Veterans Memorial area under development. Sertoma stands for "Service to Mankind" and this area honors the "ultimate" service to mankind.
There's a new entrance welcoming you into this area and a sidewalk that circles newly-planted trees.
The trees in this area will honor service members, and families will have the chance to sponsor a spot to remember their loved one.
Flags of all the service branches will eventually fly at the far end of this area.
Again this is the area to the East of where Cone Park will sit, and this pond, behind me is actually where the water supply will come from for the snow making for that tubing hill in the new winter park.
It's all pretty exciting. Something that might actually make you look forward to winter.
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