We’ve all heard of town green spaces, but the downtown green space in Maquoketa is especially noteworthy.
According to Stephanie Sagers, a member of the Hometown Pride Committee, it’s an easy place to find.
“Like you said, it’s centrally located, everybody, if you say the green space in Maquoketa, they know exactly what you are talking about and where to go.”
That’s also due in part to the history of the property. Where the green space now lies once stood several businesses downtown. However, in 2008, a fire destroyed those businesses, leaving the lot a total loss.
Maquoketa Fire Captain Craig Muhlhausen remembers that day well.
“We thought had been an excellent job, had it knocked down not knowing that it had been burning and gotten into the attic already,so it turned into a two straight day fire fight.”
However, from the ashes of tragedy, came inspiration.
Sagers said, “After the cleanup, it kind of was an empty lot for a while and finally the city decided to sod it and it’s really evolved into a community event space. “
Now, what would have been an empty lot has become a gathering space for the community. Maquoketa’s summer concert series, and other major events are held on the green space.
Sagers also said, “We’ve also had different civic groups use it for their carnivals and things like that. I see individuals out here eating lunch some days. It’s just a great place for people to, walk their dogs, I’ve seen dog trainers out in the area too. “
From tragedy, comes new opportunity as well. Sagers explained the impact the location of the green space has on downtown businesses.
“Within walking distance of a lot of different restaurants and businesses, and we encourage those businesses to be open during the times that those events are, because you will get people that will be, what else is there for me to do while i’m here?”