Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Cownie Park
Des Moines, IA
A twenty acre parcel on the bluffs of the Des Moines River was identified by the city and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as a possible outdoor recreation area. Paulsen Architects was contracted by IDNR and the Archery Trade Association to study possible recreational solutions incorporating competitive and adventure archery courses.
The program calls for master planning both walking challenge courses that preserved the wooded highlands of the Des Moines River bluff and two miles of walking archery trails. The archery trails preserves wildlife habitat and links to adjacent habitat parcels. Parking and bus traffic shall also accommodate for Olympic sized competition courses.
The solution includes a bus roundabout on a topographically challenging site, four target ranges designed for beginners, intermediate archers and competition ranges. With the competition ranges, grandstands were also planned.
The facility will be a year-round operation with an indoor range and future winter uses such as skiing and lodging. The down slope areas are planned to accommodate winter sports as well as a 12 acre “Olympic village” of lodging, conference center, outdoor recreation and dining for visitors and competitors.