In June 1981, Dickinson County Conservation Board entered into a maintenance agreement to refresh an exhausted county gravel pit into a county park.
It started as only six acres, so small it looks like only a dot on a map of the Iowa Great Lakes area. The original document included on a 10-year agreement, but 35 years later, Westport Park is still being utilized.
The approximately 10-acre site features a shallow fishing pond that has bluegill, green sunfish and bass; plus, a state record bass was once caught there. The park is the perfect place for young fishermen to practice their skills as a fishing dock juts out into the pond for ease of access, or anglers can also try their luck from the shoreline.
A picnic area, complete with picnic tables, fire rings and barbecues, sits ready for families to come enough an outdoor lunch beneath the shade of lush cottonwood trees. A grassy area is the perfect place to play Frisbee, bean bags or tag.
Take a walk around the pond and enjoy the water view as well as the wildlife that makes its home in the public hunting area.
Westport Park is a hidden gem — to reach it, take County Road A-34 west of Milford about nine miles until you reach a two-way stop light. Turn south onto County Road M-27 for one mile, and then turn west on 230th Street for about one mile. The park will be on the south side of the gravel road.
With eight parks and even more public areas, the Dickinson County Conservation Board has a variety of gems for the public to explore to help foster an appreciation of the natural world. Learn about each of these parks with a new series of Youtube videos on each park, coming out periodically in 2016. Check out the Westport Park video on the DCCBnaturecenter Youtube channel.