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Aquatic center groundbreaking, ‘Stash the Trash’ among upcoming city events

A picture from the city of Ames Facebook of the soon to be built Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center

The city of Ames is hosting various environmentally focused events in addition to an aquatic center groundbreaking.

Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center groundbreaking

The groundbreaking for the $32 million Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center will take place at 11 a.m. April 24 at 115 N. Elm Ave. A news release from the city Wednesday stated the event is open to the public and parking is limited.

“This project exemplifies the importance of a strong public and private partnership. The lack of a public indoor swimming facility in Ames has been challenging,” Ames Parks and Recreation Director Keith Abraham stated in the release.

44 donors contributed more than $10 million to the facility, which will be over 38,000 square feet and include several pools and a walking track. Rich and Mary Fitch, who own Furman Realty, and their family contributed $3 million and are the namesake of the project.

The aquatic center will open in fall 2025.

Stash the Trash

The annual Stash the Trash event will be April 20 and 21, where volunteers select public areas, green spaces and parks to collect litter. A city news release said garbage bags and latex gloves are available through April 19 at the City Hall Community Center and the drive-through lane of the Resource Recovery Plant (RRP).

Drop-off will be available in Lot S3 near Reiman Gardens on the same days as the event and afterward at the RRP at no charge.

“Volunteers may pick up trash in community areas throughout Ames the week before and the week after April 20,” the release stated.

Arbor Day

The city of Ames will host a celebration and tree planting in connection with Arbor Day, according to a news release Tuesday.

The celebration is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. April 26 at Homewood Golf Course and will include an unveiling of an art piece in honor of Virginia Stafford.

A tree planting event will take place May 18, where interested volunteers can meet at 9 a.m. at the corner of Northwestern Avenue and Murray Drive. The city received a $5,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to plant 50 trees near Ames High School.

“We are so grateful to the Iowa DNR for this generous contribution and for the opportunity for residents to be involved in a tree-planting event that diversifies our urban trees,” Ames City Forester Gabriele Edwards stated in the release.

Stream Clean-Up

The annual Stream Clean-Up will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 with a provided lunch and will be hosted by the city of Ames in partnership with Prairie Rivers of Iowa.

The clean-up will take place at the Ioway Creek or South Skunk River, depending on trash and water levels, according to a city news release. A rain date is scheduled for April 27.

In 2023, the event collected 3,020 pounds of garbage and removed 20 tires from the Ioway Creek.

Registration is required for canoe and supply planning. Interested volunteers should register here.

Spring No-Charge Yard Waste Day

Residents of Story County can utilize Ames’ Spring No-Charge Yard Waste Day to dispose of yard waste for free from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27 at GreenRU.

“Those participating in No-Charge Yard Waste Day are asked to enter the site from Dayton Avenue, then west on Southeast Fifth Street, and north on Freel Drive. Drivers should exit the site north on Freel Drive to Lincoln Way,” a city news release stated April 4.

Those attending can drop off yard waste and brush but must follow GreenRU’s rules for proper yard waste disposal.

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