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A conservation station

Cabin donated to Webster County Fairgrounds

-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson Cory Krug, president of the Webster County Fair board, and Cody Peterson, operation supervisor at Webster County Conservation, look over the cabin that was donated to the fairgrounds. The building made the move from Kennedy Park to the fairgrounds on Tuesday.

There is a new addition to the Webster County Fairgrounds.

Settled near the wooded area just east of the auditorium is a log cabin. The log cabin was donated to the Webster County Fairgrounds by Webster County Conservation on Tuesday.

The cabin has been at the campgrounds at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park north of Fort Dodge since 2008.

Cody Peterson, operation supervisor at Webster County Conservation, said the cabin was built in 2007 by the Iowa Central Community College carpentry program.

“It is made from Iowa-grown white oak logs. We bought the logs and construction materials and Iowa Central donated the labor,” said Peterson. “We then hauled it out in 2008 to Kennedy Park and placed it in the campground.”

The cabin has been rented out for the last 12 years, but was no longer fitting the need for the campgrounds.

“It has done well for us,” said Peterson. “We just noticed a shift of people wanting their own bathrooms and water — a more fancier, glamping type of experience.”

Peterson said they are considering replacing the cabin with another yurt, but in the meantime Webster County Conservation is glad the cabin has a new home.

“We are happy to find a good home for it,” he said. “This worked out well to donate this to them.”

Cory Krug, Webster County Fair Board president, said he is excited to have the new addition to not only the Webster County Fair, but to the fairgrounds, as he hopes it can be utilized for more than just the one week the fair is held.

Krug said when the conversations began about the opportunity, Webster County Conservation leaders said they would like a better presence during the Webster County Fair.

“The cabin makes a good fit for that,” he said. “During the fair, there will be a lot of exhibits set up around and inside of it.”

Peterson said Webster County Conservation has two naturalists who will be heading up the educational and recreational activities at the fair each year.

“The fair is growing every year by quite a bit,” he said. “We want to be out here and help educate.”

Education will revolve around everything from natural resources to outdoor recreational activities that Webster County has to offer.

Krug said all of those types of details and more are still being ironed out.

The cabin will possibly be available as a rental unit during the off-fair season.

“It is possible we will have camp stalls on the side and then people can do a camp with a cabin,” he said. “It will probably get a lot of the similar use it did at Kennedy in the off-season, then for a week during the fair it will be converted over.”

The donation of the cabin leaves Krug hopeful for more of a relationship with Webster County Conservation.

“We placed the cabin in that spot to be able to develop the area for more of a nature experience,” he said. “It’s a natural low lying wetland. We are hoping for help with some trails, not only for the people using the cabin, but for the local community to come out to enjoy.”

There is a little work the Fair Board is planning on doing to the cabin.

“We will run power to it –it’s an air conditioned and heated facility,” he said. “We will put a deck on the front with an overhang on the porch. That will help to expand some of the display.”

Krug added he is thankful for the developing relationship with Webster County Conservation.

“We take great pride in any partnership we can get within the community,” he said. “That is what the fair is all about – educating everybody about the great things about Webster County and what we have. Whether it is a conservation resource or a vendor that comes to show what they do in the county. The cabin is another opportunity for people to come out and educate themselves when they come out to the Webster County Fair.”

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