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Funders work together to bring play to River’s Edge Park

September 15, 2020

Belle’s Play Garden Coming to Council Bluffs in 2021

(Council Bluffs, IA) – Council Bluffs’ River’s Edge will soon be home to another attractive amenity for area families with the announcement of an outdoor children’s playground. Named “Belle’s Play Garden” after the lead donors’ daughters, the 2,000 square-foot area will feature interactive play elements in vibrant colors and patterns that represent the Missouri River and unique topography of the bluffs.

Belle's Play Garden Rendering
This project is part of the “Go Play” initiative co-founded by the Knudtson-Tomasek and Davidson families. Dusty Davidson and Rick Knudtson are the co-founders of Flywheel, one of Nebraska’s fastest growing tech startups. Together, along with their families, they have committed $200,000 to the project. Iowa West Foundation will match the donation. The Back to the River organization also will contribute $100,000.

Knudtson-Tomasek and Davidson families

Pictured from left to right: Rick Knudtson and Heather Tomasek, Marlina and Dusty Davidson. Front row: Daughters for whom the park is named after, Ella (El Belle) Knudtson (left) and Annabelle Davidson. Photo by Kimberly Dovi Photography.

Marlina and Dusty Davidson were born and raised in Council Bluffs, and Tomasek formerly worked for the City of Council Bluffs’ Parks Department managing the landscape architecture for Phase II of River’s Edge Park.

“This Go Play initiative was founded with the hopes of returning the idea of play back to the park and the neighborhoods in the former Playland Park area,” Tomasek said. “Both our families have young daughters that love to spend time outside at various parks around the metro so this is named in honor of them. We believe it will reintroduce a new play space that enhances one’s sense of discovery and adds to the growing momentum at the riverfront.”

“The Foundation has been the catalyst for Riverfront development from the beginning, and as more infrastructure and amenities are layered on, the potential for future development multiplies,” said Brenda Mainwaring, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “The park will be a popular component to the overall development. We are grateful for the vision and generosity of the Knudtson-Tomasek and Davidson families, along with Iowa West’s former leader, Pete Tulipana, who have made this possible.”

Nicole Lindquist

Written by Nicole Lindquist, Director of Communications

Media Inquiries:

Nicole Lindquist
Director of Communications
w: 712-309-3004
c: 402-981-2289

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