ST. JOSEPH (WJON News) -- Progress continues to be made on St. Joseph's newest park.

Rivers Bend Park - previously called East Park - had some mowed trails last summer.

Community Development Director Nate Keller says construction of paved trails and parking lot will happen this year.

We would anticipate that the construction of paved trails, parking lot, and other amenities will start likely in August.

Keller says the construction of a canoe/kayak boat launch should be done early next year.

And what's exciting about that is that there will be a fully ADA-accessible access.  So folks will be able to go from the parking lot down to the canoe/kayak access in their wheelchair and be able to load into a canoe or kayak.

Keller says the city received a $250,000 grant with a $250,000 local match along with another $700,000 grant to help pay for the upgrades.

During Monday night's city council approved a lease agreement for a kayak/canoe rental at the park this year from May through September, it just won't have the improved access upgrade until next year.

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Rivers Bend Park is 95 acres making it St. Joseph's largest park.  Keller describes the park between Interstate 94 and County Road 121 as mostly prairie with some wooded areas along the Sauk River, which runs through the park.

The city did a native prairie planting on about 20 acres of land with 10 acres of wooded plantings as well.


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