Lizard Creek access will be welcome

A group with a broad vision deserves credit. That group consists of kayakers, other outdoor enthusiasts, and private landowners.A group with a broad vision deserves credit. That group consists of kayakers, other outdoor enthusiasts, and private landowners.

On the west side of Phinney Park Drive, just before the road goes under the railroad overpass, there’s a small parking lot. At first glance, it may seem like the parking lot is there all by itself for no apparent reason. In fact, it’s there for a good reason.

Just beyond it is a little loop of road that curves down toward Lizard Creek. It provides quick and easy access for people to launch their canoes and kayaks into the creek. From that point, they can paddle their kayaks or canoes on Lizard Creek to the Des Moines River.

That access point is on the verge of some major upgrades. Thanks to a pair of state grants, a restroom building, an open shelter, a bike repair station and signs will be added. Those signs will direct bicyclists to mountain bike trails tucked away in the woods near the creek access point. The bike repair station will be handy for any bicyclists that have a problem on those trails, or anywhere nearby.

The city of Fort Dodge and Webster County Conservation received two grants to help pay for those new features. One of those grants is a $50,000 award from the state’s Resource Enhancement and Protection program commonly called REAP. The other grant is a $20,000 Water Trail Enhancement Grant that comes from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.

The upgrades are expected to be put in place next year.

We feel these are worthy updates that will make a nice location even more user friendly. Perhaps these new features will entice even more people to come there.

We thank those at the city and Webster County Conservation who secured this money for our community.

But a larger group with a broad vision deserves credit as well. That group consists of kayakers, other outdoor enthusiasts, and private landowners who have worked with government officials since 2009 to create a water trail system on Lizard Creek and the Des Moines River.

Today, that water trail system consists of 14 miles of Lizard Creek and 46 miles of the Des Moines River.

COMMENTS