December 09, 2021

County park sign dedicated to longtime supporter

Stone sign at Ashton-Wildwood pays homage to departed conservation board member

During the cold afternoon Nov. 2 a new permanent sign was unveiled at Ashton-Wildwood Park, which marks not just the park’s entrance but also the life and works of longtime conservation board member Denis Wilcox.

Wilcox, who died earlier this year, served as a member the Jasper County Conservation Board for more than 27 years. One of his longtime passion projects, even after he retired from the board, was Ashton-Wildwood Park.

The park, which is located a few miles north of Mingo, has served as a venue for several community and county events throughout the year.

Speakers at the dedication said Wilcox spent hundreds of hours helping conservation maintain the parks large green space. During the long, hot, muggy Iowa summers, Wilcox also spent many eight-hour days mowing and landscaping the park.

And because of that, Wilcox’s name won’t just be immortalized on the park’s entrance sign — the main green space at the park has been dedicated to his memory and renamed Wilcox Green.

“The years that Denis spent on the board were full of wisdom. Anytime anyone asked his opinion on a decision or new hire he was always a strong advocate for what he believed was best for the county,” Carol Kramer, secretary of the county conservation board, said.

At the end of the dedication Wilcox’s daughter, Cintra Godfrey, thanked everyone for their work to immortalize her father’s memory.

“I see so many of my father’s longtime friends and colleagues here, and I just wanted to thank you all for coming out to see dad’s sign unveiled at the place he loved so much,” Godfrey said.

Contact Abby Knipfel at 641-792-4687 ext. 6531 or

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them