A new state park is being dedicated today (Thursday) in southern Iowa’s Warren County, a rare occasion. Ross Harrison, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says nearly two-million dollars has been invested in the area over the past year to clean up, beautify and prepare what’s now known as Banner Lakes at Summerset State park. Harrison says the state’s owned the land since the 1950s but it was a wildlife area that wasn’t patrolled often by the law and was just “let go” to crime and vandalism. Now, with full state park status, it is the newest jewel in the state’s park system, complete with a bike trail, lakes for trout fishing and a gun range with a concession area. There’s also a three-level mountain biking trail, pull-offs for boat ramps, picnic sites and more. Harrison says the park underwent an “extreme makeover” to become a new focus for family fun. The new park is located about halfway between Des Moines and Indianola. The dedication ceremony is slated for 4 P.M. Iowa has only opened two state parks in the past 27 years, the other being Elinor Biddell State Park in 1998 at East Okoboji Lake.
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