Enhance Iowa Board awards $1 million to Prospect Meadows
The Enhance Iowa Board has awarded a $1 million grant to the Prospect Meadows ball complex to be constructed north of Marion. The grant was among five Community Attraction and Tourism grants approved Dec. 14 in Des Moines totaling $2.2 million.
The Enhance Iowa program assists construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities to enhance the quality of life in Iowa.
The award is the result of a $1.5 million grant request submitted in 2015 to the Enhance Iowa Board. The board works with applicants to move them to fundraising completion.
The facility will be located south of County Home Road and east of Highway 13 near Marion, and has a construction budget of $13 million. It includes a multi-field ball complex, including a Miracle Field for those with disabilities, walking trail, supervised play area, recreation lake, a two-acre flower garden, concession stands, restrooms and a storm shelter.
The project has received a combined $4 million in support from Linn County and the cities of Cedar Rapids and Marion in anticipation of the projected economic benefits to the region.
"This project will be a great asset not only to Marion but the entire metro area," said Marion City Manager Lon Pluckhahn. "The facility addresses a significant recreational need and will greatly benefit the local economy with the influx of visitors it brings from across the Midwest."
An important component of the project's success is Perfect Game USA's 15-year memorandum of understanding to bring 1,000 teams to the facility every year -- which will equate to an estimated 60,000 out-of-the-area visitors annually.Since fundraising began, Prospect Meadows has raised more than $3 million in private donations and more than $5 million in public commitments, and secured a $1.3 million grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation.