Manchester has been named “River Town of the Year”. The honor comes from Iowa Rivers Revival, a river advocacy group. The “River Town of the Year” honor recognizes the city and its many partners for removing a dam and creating a whitewater park that is slated to open this spring. Iowa Rivers Revival Board Chair Jerry Peckumn presented the award to the community at a reception at the Franklin Street Brewing Company Wednesday afternoon.
The one-point-eight million dollar whitewater project was an idea of the Manchester Good to Great Committee several years ago. Good to Great Committee Chair Dean Sherman, who also serves on the Manchester City Council, says being recognized for their vision and hard work is rewarding.
Along with the whitewater park, there are several other river-related projects going on in and near Manchester. Work is being done on revitalizing the riverfront through the expansion of walking and biking trails along the river, removing dilapidated buildings, improving access for anglers and boaters and organizing river clean-ups. Manchester is also working with the Iowa DNR River Programs office, Delaware County, landowners and other stakeholders to designate the Maquoketa River as a state water trail from Backbone State Park to Lake Delhi. Right now, the focus is on the Manchester Whitewater Park project, and work has been ongoing since early last fall. Ryan Wicks, Chair of the Good to Great River and Rec Committee, says construction is moving along well.
The grand opening celebration for the Manchester Whitewater Park is slated for June 20th. (Photo by News Director Janelle Tucker)