Feb 28, 2023 - News

Lauridsen Skatepark parking would relocate dog park

Proposed changes to Riverwalk Dog Park
Data: Polk County Conservation Board; Map: Madison Dong/Axios Visuals

The Lauridsen Skatepark would add a parking lot under a $2.1 million plan being proposed by the Polk County Conservation Board.

Why it matters: The nearly two-year-old downtown DSM attraction is the largest open skatepark in the nation and has twice hosted the Dew Tour, an Olympics qualifying event.

  • But street parking is limited and park officials frequently warn users to stay clear of some nearby areas for emergency vehicle access.

Driving the news: The southern portion of the Riverwalk Dog Park would be relocated north, near the corner of Illinois Street and University Avenue, to city-owned land currently used as public greenspace.

  • The relocation would make way for a 100-spot parking lot near Interstate 235 and the skatepark.

Of note: The size of the dog park would remain the same after the relocation. Portions of the park are expected to remain open throughout construction, Rich Leopold, director of Polk County Conservation, tells Axios.

  • The parking could be used by skaters, dog park visitors and trail users.

State of play: If approved, construction could begin as early as this summer with a spring 2024 completion.

Talk about it: Conservation officials are holding a public meeting about the project next Tuesday, March 7, at the third-floor conference room at Bolton & Menk, 430 E. Grand Ave.

  • Starts at 5:30pm.
A photo of green space.
DSM's Riverwalk Dog Park would extend to this corner near University Avenue and Illinois Street under a proposal being considered by the Polk County Conservation Board. Photo courtesy of Google Maps
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