Kiwanis Club Seeking $175,000 For Hiley Park Project

Hiley Park turns 40 years old in 2024.

The Glenwood Kiwanis Club is continuing its pursuit of grants to help fund upgrades to Hiley Park that would make the city-owned recreational area accessible to more people.

Kiwanis Club spokesperson Michelle Wright provided an update on the project to city leaders at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Glenwood City Council.

Wright told city council members the goal of the project is to make Hiley Park “a friendly and accessible space for differently abled individuals.”

The proposed project carries a price tag of $175,000 and includes replacing the retaining wall behind the park’s playground, making the actual playground surface handicap-accessible with a pour in place surface, making the parking lot concrete and connecting current sidewalks at the park with the parking lot and other sidewalks.

Kiwanis has committed $10,000 to the project and is seeking an additional $142,500 in grants - $5,000 from the Mills County Community Foundation (MCCF), $50,000 from the Iowa West Foundation and up to $87,500 (one-half of the project cost) in the form of an Iowa DNR Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant.

The city council approved the applications for the MCCF and Iowa West grants being submitted this month under the city’s name, a requirement of both foundations. The application deadline for the DNR Land and Water Conservation Fund grant is March 15.

Wright noted that an application for the DNR grant was submitted in 2023, but denied. Wright said the application to the DNR will be enhanced with a resolution of support and a financial commitment from the city to the project.

“I was hoping that as you go through your budgeting process for next year, because we wouldn’t need this until Fiscal (Year) ’25, that you would be willing to consider something in the $7,500-$5,000 range and it could go into the park board budget,” she said. “The DNR stuff just said some financial support, some funding  (from th city), would strengthen our application. It is not mandatory and I know how tight the budget is.”

The city council did not take action on the DNR grant  or request for a financial commitment last week, but is expected to address the issue at a future meeting.

Kiwanis has been working on securing funding for the proposed project for about 18 months and Wright said the club intends to continue fundraising for the remaining dollars in 2024.

Hiley Park, located on the north end of Hillcrest Ave. in a residential area on the northwest side of the city, turns 40 years old in 2024. The park is named after the late Dan Hiley, the first Glenwood Kiwanis Club president. The club has maintained and made improvements to the park over the past four decades and hosts a free “Fun Fest” every September at the facility for neighborhood residents.

The Opinion-Tribune

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