Government

What are your ideas for Jones Park and its golf course? City wants your input

Cedar Rapids City Council in November decided to repurpose often-flooded golf course

A groundskeeper mows Jones Golf Course in Cedar Rapids in 2018 next to a flooded area. The city is asking residents for
A groundskeeper mows Jones Golf Course in Cedar Rapids in 2018 next to a flooded area. The city is asking residents for ideas about repurposing the oft-flood golf course in southwest Cedar Rapids. An online survey is open until March 5. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — The city is looking to residents for input on repurposing Jones Golf Course, a flood-prone venue in the southwest quadrant that had long been a drag on revenue in the city’s four-course municipal golf system.

The request for public ideas is the first part of a comprehensive planning process for re-imagining the park, as directed by the Cedar Rapids City Council in November.

The city is seeking feedback on park features and initial improvements that could be made in the fiscal 2022 budget year, which begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2022, according to a news release.

The city first will focus on short-term projects that can be done within the next two years. Those projects would have limited impact on the overall park layout, which would be considered in the next planning phase.

“We are excited to begin the process of redesigning Jones Park with amenities that meet the diverse needs of the public,” Parks and Recreation Director Scott Hock said in the news release. “We have the opportunity to do a few projects quickly, some that we don’t have anywhere else in the park system.”

Flooding, COVID-19 closures, derecho damage and golfing’s diminished popularity all have plagued the course. Before backing plans to repurpose the course in November, the council considered closing the course for good in 2017.

Residents with ideas for the course and park can complete an online survey until March 5 at https://polco.us/n/res/vote/cedar-rapids-ia/jones-park-improvements.

People also can provide input there about park use and the priority for projects already identified.

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Ideas for the park and golf course have included pickleball courts, a futsal court (similar to soccer), dog park, outdoor basketball courts, an expanded disc golf course and additional pollinator areas.

Residents can offer feedback on park features and design, with Hock saying in November that city staff have some preliminary ideas.

One possibility: Repurpose areas for enhanced winter activities like sledding, cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing. That development will be addressed in the second phase of park planning.

Comments: (319) 398-8494; marissa.payne@thegazette.com

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