Iowa Governor and Lt. Governor visit Hawkeye Point
SIBLEY, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds visited Hawkeye Point Thursday as part of their 99-county tour of the state.
Branstad had committed to visiting the state’s highest elevation following a presentation by members of the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA Chapter, which has been actively involved in the development of the site over the past five years.
“I believe this is the first time in history that the governor and lieutenant governor stood on the highest point in Iowa, and I can’t think of a better time of year to be here,” Branstad said.
Members of the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA visited with the governor in January 2013 to highlight the improvements made to Iowa’s highest point and encouraged him to make a visit.
Recent improvements include the addition of a 14 feet by 32 feet observation deck and picnic area attached to the existing silo, a walk-through agricultural museum in the refurbished corn crib on the property and improvements to the Hawkeye Point campground located just north of the high point. The bathhouse was recently been enclosed, and the facility is expected to open later this summer.
“This is the third time that I’ve been here, and this is what rural Iowa communities are all about — working together,” Reynolds said.
Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA members have also begun work on a 24 feet by 32 feet shelter house, and more than 70 trees planted last fall have leafed out this spring. The trees circle the roadways, adding additional shade to Osceola County’s newest campground.
While visiting Hawkeye Point, members of the Westerners 4-H Club assisted the governor and lieutenant governor in completing the last of 12 picnic tables the organization donated to the Hawkeye Point Campground with assistance from the Community Foundation of Osceola County.
The table the governor helped to complete will be referred to as the Governor’s Table. The governor said he felt honored as the table was dedicated with a special plaque presented to him. The plaque will be mounted on the table to honor the Branstad/Reynolds visit.
Branstad and Reynolds made two other regional stops before their Thursday visit to Hawkeye Point. They first made a visit to a new ag-based business in Primghar, and next stopped in Inwood to visit a new flexible fuel station.
“Inwood received a grant for a new flexible fuel station that is right along Highway 18 by the town, and like Minnesota, we are trying to promote renewable fuel,” Branstad said.
Branstad and Reynolds make it a point to visit all 99 Iowa counties every year. They will wrap up their tour in late August or September.
The governor will be at the Field of Dreams site tonight to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie “Field of Dreams” with actor Kevin Costner, sports reporter Bob Costas and “Today” co-host Matt Lauer.
“I was governor 25 years ago when the film was made, so I’m very excited to be there,” said Branstad. “It’s been great to tour the state, and we’ve had warm welcomes wherever we’ve gone.”
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.