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Expanding Wildcat Bluff Recreation Area is a goal for Benton County Conservation



Benton County, Iowa – A well-liked park’s area is intended to be doubled by Benton County Conservation. Popular activities in the Wildcat Bluff Recreation Area include disc golf, camping, and hunting. The Benton County Conservation Board now has the opportunity to make a fresh contribution by acquiring a 180-acre plot of land adjacent to the park.

Along with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Benton County Conservation is adding the acreage directly east of Wildcat Bluff. This property has an additional Cedar River bank, an upland and lowland habitat, and an excellent timber habitat. It will add hiking routes to the 312 acres that make up Wildcat Bluff.

Randy Scheel, a member of the Benton County Conservation Board, thinks it’s a special chance to contribute to the preservation of a “spectacular” piece of property. “Coe College has been out here doing studies to see if there are rare species of the spotted salamander and central Newt here. There is an Indian burial mound on this property that needs to be protected,” says Scheel.

According to Scheel, the project has a lot of support from the community, as evidenced by the grants it has received and the abundance of gifts from families and neighborhood organizations. However, in order to cover the $1.2 million cost, they will still need to raise more than $400,000. To open the space to the public, they aim to raise the full sum within the next six months.

“This would definitely be a turnkey property. There’s already a lot of natural paths that have been made by the cattle that were out here, and deer and other wildlife,” says Wildcat Bluff Recreation Area Park Ranger Layla Hagen.

Private property will remain on the land until the necessary funds are raised.

Benton County Naturalist Aaron Askelson says expanding the park, and its programs, will mean a lot for the community. “We’ve become more and more disconnected with the natural world,” says Askelson. “Programs like this where we can get kids out of the school room outside for a whole day immersive experience, they really they really can kind of bond with nature. They won’t appreciate nature unless they have the opportunity to enjoy it.”

Anyone interested in donating can find more information here. They can also reach out to Benton County Conservation directly at, call 319-472-4942, or go to


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