Kiwanis - Serving the Children of the World
Serving the Children of the World

The Story of Kiwanis Park by John Dane

My father (Longtime noon Kiwanian Hal Dane) bought the 40 acres in 1937.  I bought it from him in 1952.  We grew corn and beans on it until 1992, when it began to be developed.  The developers (Gene Kroeger and John Moreland) said they did not wish to build anything in the flood plain which included Willow Creek and everything west of it.  I went to an Iowa City Parks and Recreation Committee meeting and told them I would donate 14 acres for an Iowa City park if they would name it Kiwanis Park.  The Chairman said, "Mr. Dane, if you wish to donate 14 acres for an Iowa City Park, you can name it anything you want!" 
Thus it became Kiwanis Park.  End of story.

I have many fond memories of working that land.  My Dad and I built the original bridge (long gone) over the creek so that we could get farm machinery across.  My Dad and I also did some make shift flood control work.  The remnants of the fence we built is still imbeddedin some trees there.  The last time I had a combine on the Kiwanis Parkland was 1992.

Kiwanis Park is located in south west Iowa City off of Benton and Teg.  It is a wonderful place to spend a sunny day in Iowa City.  Every year members of Kiwanis and the surrounding community gather together to clean up and maintain the playground and adjacent shelter.  

The centerpiece of the park is a picnic shelter constructed in memory of Howard Fountain, a charter member of the Old Capitol Kiwanis club who lived a life dedicated to community service exemplifying the ideals of Kiwanis International.  

Kiwanis Park also features a series of memorial brick pavers placed in honor of Kiwanians who lived a life of service to our community.