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Still a long way back to normal

Volunteers pitch in to clean up Lake Macbride State Park
A picnic table destroyed by falling trees in the Aug. 10 derecho sits at the edge of a modern campsite in the Lake Macbride State Park on Saturday, Sept. 26. A flock of volunteers pitched in to help park staff with ongoing efforts to clean up the park as part of a statewide volunteer day in the parks in celebration of 100 years of state parks in Iowa.

SOLON Almost seven weeks after the historic derecho wind storm moved across the state of Iowa, the after-effects are still evident at Lake Macbride State Park despite a Herculean effort by park staff.
It was bad, said Park Manager Ron Puettmann. Theres probably thousands of trees down in the park, most of them in the timbered areas, of course.
The hardest-hit areas though, were the campgrounds, he said.
Those are still closed yet until we get the hazard trees taken care of, he noted.
While Macbride is partially open, just a few miles to the northeast, Palisades-Kepler State Park, located along US Highway 30 west of Mount Vernon, remains closed due to extensive storm damage.
Crews from other parks provided much help in clearing roads and trails.
We made really good progress the first couple of weeks after the storm, and now its just a matter of getting things to a point where we can mow again. Puettmann said.
On Saturday, Sept. 26, Puettmann welcomed a group of enthusiastic volunteers to the park for a statewide volunteer day, a part of the yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of Iowa state parks. Puettmann was hoping for 20 to RSVP for the event, and had around 30 do so.
One group participating was Scouts BSA Troop 270 from Coralville, an all-girl troop formed after the Boy Scouts of America transitioned into Scouts BSA, and admitted girls into its ranks. The troop, with members from Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty, was directed to the modern campsites on the northern edge of the park where their task was to move sticks, small branches and other tree debris out of the way.
For current information on the status of trails, campsites and other amenities at Lake Macbride State Park, go to the Iowa DNRs webpage www.iowadnr.gov and click on Places To Go, then select State Parks.