South Skunk River buffered with Sleepy Hollow Park addition in Ames
Sleepy Hollow Park in Story County will soon grow by more than 15 acres thanks to a joint project by INHF, the Story County Conservation Board (SCCB) and the Story County chapter of Pheasants Forever.
INHF purchased the land in late October and plans to transfer it to SCCB as soon as fundraising is complete. The local Pheasants Forever chapter was the first group to pledge funds to help make the project happen.
The addition sits just south of the existing Sleepy Hollow Park and directly east of Ada Hayden Heritage Park on the north end of Ames. The existing 21-acre park serves as an access to the 34-mile Skunk River Water Trail, and is a popular spot for hiking, bird-watching and geo-caching. The addition is mostly woodland along with three acres of land that could be restored to native vegetation.
“The population of Ames has grown by nearly 10 percent in the last decade, with much of the new development expanding north,” said Ross Baxter, INHF land projects director. “This project expands the Skunk River greenbelt in an area seeing increasing development pressure.”
Ames also has shallow aquifer drinking wells in the area, and the South Skunk River is known to flood in high rain events, meaning that protection of this river area will help water quality and water flow management.