Ada Hayden Heritage Park is a 430-acre site including two lakes with an approximate surface area of 125-acres. The lakes are a remnant of the gravel quarry that formerly occupied the site. During unseasonably dry years, water from the lakes is pumped into the nearby Skunk River to replenish the drinking water aquifer. The primary project goal was to preserve both bodies of water and improve their water quality so they can remain a viable solution as a secondary drinking water source. This was accomplished through the creation of bioengineered wetland treatment cells for stormwater runoff from existing and future residential development.
The primary accomplishment of the project was the construction of three bioengineered wetland treatment cells in the west and southwest portions of the site. Another major accomplishment was the stabilization of approximately three miles of shoreline. The entire site is accessible by approximately three miles of asphalt trail and two miles of secondary gravel trail. The secondary gravel trail will allow visitors to explore native prairie and wetland features within the park. Site visitors will enjoy other conveniences such as restroom facilities and a picnic shelter, parking for cars and boat trailers, boat launch, handicap accessible fishing dock, and a pedestrian bridge between the lakes. Coordination with the Iowa Department of Transportation, Army Corps of Engineers, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Story County Conservation Board was necessary during park planning, design, and permitting phases of the project.