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Cedar Lake Project Now Has a Master Plan

Cedar Lake in Cedar Rapids, IA on Thursday, February 4th, 2016 (Joe Huisinga/CBS2&FOX28)

Cedar Rapids,IA (CBS 2/ Fox 28) - A local group is working to turn Cedar Lake in Cedar Rapids into the newest attraction.

The friends of Cedar Lake have been working for 3 year to give new life to Cedar Lake.

The plan proposed tonight is expected to cost about $8.8 million about half what they originally thought.

"Cedar Lake is one of the most visible but also under appreciated features of Cedar Rapids." Says Architect in Training Ryan Anderson, from Confluence Landscape Architecture.

Project coordinators think improving the lake can change people's perception of Cedar Rapids while creating a recreational destination for residents.

"We want people to look down and say hey look at that what's going on down there says Felicia Wyrick Friends of Cedar Lake, Outreach Chair. "And there's people in kayaks there's people on bikes there's people running."

The plan includes boardwalks on the water, boat docks, floating vegetation islands and a nature themed playground.

It will bring a lot of green ideas to the lakes polluted past polluted past.

"Just this year it came of the impaired waters list" says Wyrick. "The DNR's been testing the tissue in the bottom feeding fish since the early 80's."

The water was heavily contaminated with a chemical used against termites in area homes.

That chemical leached into the ground and the water but those levels have dropped over time bringing a new opportunity to build a healthy lake.

"On one hand we say this is an urban lake but on the other hand we say this is an important ecological amenity," says Anderson. "And it's really important as part of this master plan to find a balance between those."

Right now the biggest road block is ownership; the city owns the land but Alliant energy owns the lake and public ownership is important to project funding.

Wyrick says Alliant has been very cooperative in the process so far.

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