DES MOINES, Iowa – MacRae Park officially opens to the public on Wednesday after being closed for renovations.
Des Moines Parks and Recreation unveils the new EMC Overlook Wednesday that displays a picture-perfect view of the Des Moines skyline.
Des Moines Parks and Recreation Director Ben Page said the city wanted to highlight the view for the public to enjoy.
“What we see happening here now will be weddings, anniversaries, family gatherings, senior pictures, homecoming pictures every little thing that makes lifetime memories are going to be photographed up here,” Page said.
The deck is 96 feet long and the tip of it hovers 40 feet above the hillside.
It is made out of weathering steel and the handrail is stainless steel. In the handrail you will find an LED lighting system that brightens the deck at night.
“We just didn’t have anything like this. We wanted to have something iconic. All of our parks we want a reason for you to come and visit all of them so we wanted to do something special here,” Page said.
In addition to the EMC Overlook, the park also features a pedestrian lane on the one-way road and a year-round shelter that can be rented out.
“The road was always a one-way road through the park, but it didn’t have a dedicated pedestrian lane. Now, we have a dedicated car lane and dedicated pedestrian lane for bikers, walkers, joggers people pushing strollers,” Page said.
Page said every Friday and Saturday of next year is already booked for the shelter.
The city began the next phase of renovating the park by dredging out a pond along Southwest Ninth Street and adding a fish habitat.
“The DNR tells us it’s their goal to make this one of the best urban fishing spots in all of Iowa,” Page said.
It is estimated total renovations will cost $3.5 million.
MacRae Park was opened to the public over a century ago and named after World War I hero Donald MacRae.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. MacRae Park is located at 1021 Davis Avenue, Des Moines.