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New Proving Grounds park near Dubuque honors Deere history

January 5, 2019

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A panel has named a new 137-acre park near Dubuque ahead of work to add a mountain bike trail system and disc golf course.

The Dubuque County Conservation Board announced this week it had named the park Proving Grounds Recreation Area, according to the Telegraph Herald .

Deere & Co. donated the land for the park, and the name reflects how Deere had long used the property to test its equipment.

The park has been open for hiking and bow hunting. Crews began working on park projects since fall and have added a paved parking area, restrooms and a pavilion.

Upcoming work includes building a 7½-mile mountain bike trail system and an 18-hold disc golf course.

The development costs, which are expected to total about $300,000, will be covered by the county, state grants and fundraising.

The mountain-biking trail will be the third in Dubuque County, along with one in Asbury’s Cloie Creek Park and another being completed at the Interstate Power Co. Forest Preserve.

Brett Errthum, president of Tri-State Mountain Bike Riders, said his group is partnering with the county and expects work on the trails to start in the spring or summer. The trail will open in phases, he said.

Brett Blewett, a member of Dubuque Disc Golf, said the new course will be the county’s first featuring 18 holes. Two other county courses include nine holes.

″(The county courses) are more beginner-friendly, not that challenging,” Blewett said. “There’s a thirst for more courses.”

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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