If you haven't been out at Mariposa park recently, it might look a little bit different now. A multi-million dollar water quality improvement project was recently completed at the park with help from Jasper County Conservation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The project sought to improve the water quality at Mariposa Park due to effects of being near farmland. The grand opening event was supposed to be held in June but has been delayed.
"Our grand opening has been postponed ... We are going to postpone until fall. We don't have a date picked yet," Jasper County Conservation director Keri Van Zante said.
Even though the grand opening won't be taking place, Mariposa is open for the community to come and enjoy. Visitors can fish and even paddle board, kayak and canoe. Unfortunately, there isn't enough water in the lake yet to get actual boats out onto the water.
"I think it would be kind of treacherous to get boats in there right now because there is fish habitats sticking out of the water still," Van Zante said.
Mariposa also has recently been stocked with fish. While the likelihood of catching fish isn't great right now since a majority are fry's, hopefully in the next few years anglers can land bigger bass and bluegill. The Iowa DNR also plans on stocking Mariposa with catfish soon, as well.
"Next spring when it comes around again it'll be good fishing then," Van Zante said.
Mariposa has plenty of new attractions including a hiking trail with new educational signs that starts right when you come in and can take you all around the lake. There also is a new boat ramp which will allow for boats to be on the lake for the first time once there is enough water.
"Going to Mariposa this summer and seeing boats on it is going to be a whole new thing for everybody," Van Zante said.
All of the roads are open in Mariposa but you cannot camp, use the bathroom facilities, water fountains or play on the playground. Even with some restrictions in place, there are still plenty of things to do in the new and improved park with plenty of opportunities to have fun.
"Get out on the trails and hike and look at all the new stuff ... I'd love to have people just take the time to go out there, follow the trails and learn a little bit about the park," Van Zante said.
To learn more about what Jasper County Conservation and the Iowa DNR completed at Mariposa Park there is a video on the JCC Facebook page with drone footage to show what all was completed at the park and is narrated by Van Zante.
The video can be found on JCC's Facebook page at facebook.com/watch/?v=234442954325450 and outlines point including the reason for the project, the rocks on the shore and various other quality improvements carried out. While this project may be completed Van Zante said there are more things to come in the future.
"The fun part is we are not done. We still have things that we are working on out there in addition to the water quality project for improvements to the lake and the park," Van Zante said.
Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or email@example.com