Enjoy Fort Dodge, Webster County outdoors through six different parks this weekend

Park and Play Scavenger Hunt begins Friday

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter Traeton Baker swings with help from Jessica Ferry, at Kennedy Park.

This weekend will a good time to get out into the parks.

Fort Dodge and Webster County are putting on a scavenger hunt throughout six area parks–both familiar ones and those which might not be visited that often.

It’s National Kids to Parks Day, an annual celebration to encourage play that connects kids and families with parks. The hope is to introduce the public to the park inventories of Webster County Conservation and Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation, Forestry Department, said city Recreation Technician Erin Habben.

“We decided to make it an all-weekend event here in Fort Dodge,” Habben said. “It will start Friday in the afternoon and run until Monday mid-morning.”

In each of the parks, families should find a word written on a block.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter Violet Buechler leaps from a platform at the playground at Kennedy Park, on an outing with her 3- to 4-year-old preschool group Wednesday. Kennedy Park is one of six locations for a Kids To Parks scavenger hunt this weekend.

“They’re very noticeable,” she said. “These words will create a phrase.”

Families can send in the whole phrase, or selfies of themselves with the words. They will then be entered into a drawing for three different prizes.

The prizes include a bluetooth wireless speaker, a one night stay at the cabin in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, and a family day at Fort Frenzy.

Not every park on the list will be familiar.

“I’m not from the Fort Dodge area, but I do know the main areas like Oleson Park and Snell-Crawford,” Habben said. “We picked different ones that people don’t visit very often. Get them out, get to know the area.”

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter Aubri Lyon makes her way up a climbing wall at the playground at Kennedy Park, on an outing with her 3- to 4-year-old preschool group Wednesday. Kennedy Park is one of six locations for a Kids To Parks scavenger hunt this weekend.

One of these locations is the Diggings, a Webster County Conservation park located within the city. It’s at the end of a dead-end street, 25th Avenue North, west of Williams Drive near the north end of town.

This 7 acre park extends to the east bank of the Des Moines River, and preserves the site of numerous coal excavation areas. A variety of wildflowers can be found along an interpretive nature trail.

This is the first time the region has taken part in the national celebration, Habben said.

“Mayor (Matt) Bemrich introduced us to Kids to Parks day,” she said. “We’re one of three counties in Iowa that are hosting this event.”

Photos, or a scanned scorecard, can be emailed in to recreation@fortdodgeiowa.org.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter Kliegh Seltz, left, reaches up to join Violet Buechler and Daniel Mericle with help from Jessica Mericle, on an outing with a 3- to 4-year-old preschool group Wednesday. Kennedy Park is one of six locations for a Kids To Parks scavenger hunt this weekend.

For more information visit fortdodgeiowa.org/parks, or visit the city or county Facebook pages by searching for “Fort Dodge Parks & Rec” or “Webster County Conservation.”

Entries must be received before 11:30 a.m. Monday to be eligible for prizes.

Park and Play Scavenger Hunt

When: Friday through 11:30 a.m. Monday

Locations:

The Diggings, Webster County Conservation, 25th Avenue North, west of Williams Drive and toward the Des Moines River.

Schmoker Family Park, Fort Dodge, 1112 N. 32nd Street.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, Webster County Conservation, 1415 Nelson Ave.

Oleson Park, Fort Dodge, 12th Avenue South and 17th Street.

Moorland Pond Park, Webster County

Conservation, just south of U.S. Highway 20 in Moorland.

Hawley-Lions Park, Fort Dodge, Eighth

Avenue North and North Second Street.

For more information and to see a scorecard, visit fortdodgeiowa.org/parks.

COMMENTS