Tama-Toledo Parks - Derecho Follow-Up for August 24

So, the Iowa Geocacher’s Organization annual Hike-n-Seek event is coming to Tama County and Otter Creek Lake on Friday-Sunday, September 25-27, barring any more 2020 disasters. 🍀 The weekend is slated to include September’s Friday Lunch Club (FLC) too, but the restaurant that was slated to host FLC was destroyed in the August 10 derecho.

This morning The FLC Committee, aka Borky00, aka Bill, asked me about possible outdoor park settings for FLC as a means of giving folks plenty of room for social distancing. Bill mentioned a couple of possibilities including a Tama city park on east 4th Street, and the Lincoln Highway Bridge park at the intersection of 5th Street and old US Highway 30.

The city park on east 4th Street is a no-go. There’s never been much in the way of facilities there, and after the storm there is literally nothing there. I did have three other possibilities in mind, and needed to check up on them after the storm anyway, so I took a few minutes this morning to gather some information.

Lincoln Highway Bridge Park - East 5th Street in Tama

This little park, and I do mean little, features two very small shelters but NO grills for cooking. It’s a small outdoor meeting place near Tama’s iconic Lincoln Highway Bridge, and home to a couple of my own geocache hides. Here’s what it looks like after the storm.

Lincoln Highway Bridge Park - After the Derecho
Lincoln Highway Bridge Park - After the Derecho

Lincoln Highway Bridge Park - After the Derecho
Lincoln Highway Bridge Park - After the Derecho

Tama City Park - Near 17th Street and Mclelland in Tama

This is Tama' primary park and I’d heard it was cleaned up right after the storm, but there’s still LOTs of damage here and lots more cleanup to be done. Also, there’s only a fireplace in the small shelter, and no grills left on the grounds, at least none that I could see.

Tama City Park - After the Derecho
Tama City Park - After the Derecho

Tama City Park - After the Derecho
Tama City Park - After the Derecho

Tama City Park - After the Derecho
Tama City Park - After the Derecho

Tama City Park - After the Derecho
Tama City Park - After the Derecho

Toledo Heights City Park - West Side of Toledo on Old US 30

I think this is probably our best bet, assuming the City of Toledo can get the major debris taken care of before the FLC event. I just called the city and spoke with the City Clerk, she made a tentative reservation for me to have the shelter on Friday, September 25 for a reservation fee of $25. There is normally a $50 refundable deposit required but that’s being waved because the restroom in the shelter is not open due to the pandemic.

This park, about 1/2-mile west of the restaurant that FLC previously booked, has one nice large open shelter with a fireplace, AND two large grills just north of the shelter. Have a look, and note that the park is currently not reserved for any other events on Hike-n-Seek weekend.

Toledo Heights City Park - After the Derecho
Toledo Heights City Park - After the Derecho

Toledo Heights City Park - After the Derecho
Toledo Heights City Park - After the Derecho

Toledo Heights City Park - After the Derecho
Toledo Heights City Park - After the Derecho

That’s a warp. Until next time…