DES MOINES, Iowa – A local park is setting its sights on becoming the most accessible park in the country.

Polk County Conservation says $8 million in upgrades is planned for Easter Lake Park.

Some of the plans include adaptive playground equipment, a zero-entry ramp at the beach, a wheelchair-accessible pontoon boat, and a de-escalation room open to people with autism or other sensory conditions.

The new venue will be known as the Athene North Shore Recreation Area, after the West Des Moines insurance company that was instrumental in funding the project.

“We are continuing to raise the funds and any of the dollars that people give will go into really long-term viability and support for the park,” Jessica Lown, Community outreach Supervisor for Polk County Conservation, said, “We raised the capital dollars, now the dollars that we will continue to raise will support things like programming and equipment.”

Donations are being accepted online for the future upkeep. Construction is slated to start later this fall, with plans to open in the spring of 2024.