Jackaline Baldwin Dunlap Park + Arboretum

Urbandale, IA | Sports + Recreation


ISG provided a comprehensive plan for the Jackaline Baldwin Dunlap Park and Arboretum (the Park) to identify user-friendly improvements that aligned with the mission of its former owners.


A 12-acre park, reminiscent of Iowa’s prairie past, was gifted to the City of Urbandale (the City) by Jackaline and Paul Dunlap. The couple had purchased the land in 1974 with the goal of creating and protecting an arboretum for future generations. Forty years later, the City was tasked with developing a comprehensive plan to ensure that the Park continued to encourage environmental stewardship and outdoor recreation.


Guided by the vision of Jackaline and Paul, as well as feedback from City staff and residents, ISG developed a comprehensive plan with a goal to integrate history and environmental stewardship elements throughout the Park. This was accomplished by designing different experience areas and outdoor learning spaces for people of all ages while paying homage to the Park’s legacy. A perennial garden and courtyard commemorate the Jackaline and Paul’s gift to the City through the inclusion of features such as interpretive signage, a legacy wall, and public art. The donor plaque located at the main entrance draws inspiration from the Park by using a butterfly theme, recognizing donors and their continual support. Guiding the visitor experience, interpretative signage and tree identification signs are strategically placed throughout the Park’s 12 acres.

The comprehensive plan provides an overarching vision, while also offering a roadmap for strategic improvements over the next 20 years, with both short and long-term recommendations. Projects slated to be completed in the next five years focus on managing and maintaining current conditions and uses. Recommendations outlined in the long-range plan include those of a larger scale and may require additional coordination and fundraising, such as a rain garden, designated water play areas, tree garden, and bioswale.

Through the Dunlap’s generous donation and the City’s focused planning efforts, the Park remains an outdoor sanctuary for residents and visitors with a clear vision for the future.

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