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Plans for 'Maddie Poppe Park' in Clarksville in the works

Town looking to acquire property and get grants

Maddie Poppe, “American Idol” finalist, performs in concert at the Butler County Fairgrounds Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Alison, Iowa. (Matthew Putney/Waterloo Courier)
Maddie Poppe, “American Idol” finalist, performs in concert at the Butler County Fairgrounds Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Alison, Iowa. (Matthew Putney/Waterloo Courier)

CLARKSVILLE — The newly minted “American Idol” could have a new park in her hometown named after her.

Plans still are in the works getting a property acquired through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood buyout program, and grant funding still needs to come through.

But if all the chips fall into place, the Maddie Poppe Trailhead Park will welcome visitors to the south side of Clarksville beginning next year.

“There’s just a lot of excitement in town — people want us to do something to honor Maddie,” said Clarksville City Council member Jeff Kolb, who has worked on development of the park.

He said plans for the park, which would connect to the trail system, have been in the works since last year — well before Poppe’s meteoric rise to stardom on the reality singing competition. But the opportunity to name a potential park after the 20-year-old — which, unlike naming a street, could include interpretive signage telling her story — was too good to pass up.

“It just makes good sense if you’re going to try to do it, to do it with something that’s new,” Kolb said.

The building — now the site of Baking Memories at 404 S. Main St. — is pending acquisition through FEMA’s buyout program because it has flooded several times since 1993, Kolb said. Plus, the $75,000 park would have to be paid for with grants, which haven’t been awarded yet, so it’s far from a done deal.

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But it’s a good fit, Kolb said, not least because Poppe has performed several times during RAGBRAI, and her name would adorn a trail used by bicycles.

“This is the entrance to town, and we want it to look the best we can,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to make a good situation out of a bad (flood) situation.”

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