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Motocross and tiny houses

Gypsum City OHV Park unveils improvements

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Webster County Conservation Natural Resources and Trail Technician Tasha Nielsen shows off one of the tiny houses at the Gypsym City OHV Park during an open house Thursday afternoon.

The Webster County Conservation open house at the Gypsum City OHV Park had a most unwelcome visitor Thursday afternoon that was most certainly not on the guest list — several waves of torrential rain.

While the rain might have soaked the ground and caused the cancellation of the hay ride tours, it did nothing to dampen the spirit of Webster County Conservation Director Matt Cosgrove.

One of the first improvements at the park that greets visitors is a overhaul of the original motocross track.

“We hired Cody Rodenborn,” Cosgrove said. “He took a week of vacation time and freshened it up.”

The work, which was done with a rented bulldozer, included fixing some drainage issues and giving the course a bit of a new look. Cosgrove said the design dates back to the original construction of the park in 2005.

There’s also a whole new motocross area for riders to try out.

“We got an ATV Registration Grant,” he said. “We hired Teddy Maier to design and build it.”

The motocross only area is located south of the main parking lot.

Webster County Conservation was also able to use some of the grant funding for another project: an update to the park’s master plan. Cosgrove said that pretty much everything in the original plan has been completed.

“We’re looking at the future,” he said. “What’s it look like for Gypsum City?”

In the campground at the park, Natural Resource and Trail Technician Tasha Nielsen was ready to show off the three tiny houses that can be rented through mycountyparks.com.

Each of the them features a different theme. There’s the Hunter’s Cabin, the Bunkhouse and the Mining Cabin.

The houses were built as a partnership with Iowa Central Community College and the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility. The school’s building trades program works with offenders to teach them building skills. The tiny houses are the result.

Nielsen has the job of preparing the cabins for visitors. The interior decorations match the theme.

The Mining Cabin has pictures from the gypsum industry, a few tools and even a large drill bit found in the park that was used to bore holes for explosives.

The bunkhouse has bunkbeds in addition to the main sleeping area and the Hunter’s Cabin, hunting themed decor including a Labrador retriever shower curtain.

“I brought that from home,” Nielsen said. “I made the curtains too.”

The Hunter’s Cabin is also ADA compliant.

Cosgrove said the park is seeing more and more use.

“We’re seeing a lot from out of state, too,” he said. “A lot of non-residents as well. It’s a good thing. They come and stay and spend money in the community.”

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