Eagle Point Park.

Dubuque leaders hope to restore Eagle Point Park to attract wildlife and more visitors.

The city plans to address severe erosion, invasive plants, and a lack of natural habitat. Laura Carstens, Dubuque’s planning services manager, says the popular, 164-acre park is on a bluff and features historic pavilions, playgrounds, a bandshell, and spectacular views of the Mississippi River.

Carstens says, “We’re hoping it has these additional opportunities for park visitors by recreating the natural habitat which brings back the wildlife which will give people who are interested in wildlife viewing or birdwatching or just being in a natural space right here in our community.”

Dubuque’s Environmental Restoration Management Plan also includes measures to improve water quality. Carstens says rain gardens, ravine stabilization and native plants will help reduce runoff and create wildlife habitat.

“It was expected to be a 10-year plan but we think we’ll be able to get a lot of it done in a much shorter timeframe, maybe in a matter of a few years,” Carstens says. “It means we’ll be able to really start to make a difference, quicker, and with things like this that build on themselves, with erosion and so forth, this is very exciting for us.”

Dubuque officials want to know what people think about the Eagle Point Park restoration plan. It’s available on the city’s website. If all goes as planned, construction can begin in late spring or early summer.

(Thanks to Michelle O’Neill, WVIK, Rock Island)