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Ada Hayden Heritage Park

Ada Hayden Heritage Park is a large complex at 5205 Grand Avenue in Ames, Iowa. Located along Hwy 69, the park is the former site of Hallet’s Quarry, whose ownership was taken over by the City of Ames in January 2002, to develop as a park area. The park is named in honor of Ada Hayden, the first woman to receive a doctorate from the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now known as Iowa State University. Formerly, a part of the park area was owned by Hayden's parents; the area was her playground during her childhood days, and an outdoor laboratory for her classes in botany and ecology during her college days. Spread over 430 acres, the park was opened to the general public in July 2004. The park's focal point is two lakes with a combined surface area of about 125 acres. The lakes serve as a secondary water source in times of drought, and provide excellent opportunities for fishing and boating. A ramp is available for boating launches. An ideal spot for nature walks and picnic, the park includes three miles of hard surface pathway, two miles of crushed-rock paths, a parking lot, restroom, and pedestrian bridge. Further, the park is a haven for a variety of rare species of such migrating birds as loons, bald eagles, sand hill cranes, and white pelicans.