Johnson County’s F.W. Kent Park is undergoing several enhancements to its campground to improve water quality as a result of Johnson County’s investment of funds received from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The Kent Park Lake Restoration, completed in 2020, was a large-scale, multi-year watershed restoration project to improve runoff and water quality at Kent Park Lake. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a record number of visitors to Kent Park as building closures and social distancing spurred outdoor recreation. Kent Park is free and open to the public and offers fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, trails, camping, and much more.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Johnson County’s growing population, it is anticipated that Kent Park will continue to see record numbers of visitors in the years to come. Some facilities are currently working beyond designed capacity or are undersized for the number of users per day.
With Johnson County’s $3.4 million ARPA investment, the Conservation Department will replace the campground shower house and restroom facility; construct a new wastewater system for the shower house and dump station; and dig a new well to provide potable water to the campground. This will not only help to improve water quality in Kent Park Lake, but will allow more individuals to enjoy the campground, park and recreational opportunities. More information about F.W. Kent Park is available at https://www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/conservation/kent-park.
Johnson County is committed to utilizing ARPA to enhance investments in public services and maximize the impacts of our local fiscal recovery allocation. The County's ARPA Leadership Team has been working since February 2021 to research and discuss the many aspects of this funding. Johnson County solicited public input from May to October 2021 using a series of online surveys and tools as well as six in-person public input sessions that were held throughout the County.
More information about ARPA and how it impacts Johnson County is available at https://www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/arpa.