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Lake Macbride State Park

Hoover Nature Trail

Nature & Environmental Management Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine

This photo depicts the true beauty of this park and the lake that surrounds it. From this view, one can envision themselves on the dock in Solon, Iowa.

From the Hoover Nature Trail, hop onto the Solon-Lake Macbride Recreation Trail and take a 5-mile detour to Lake Macbride State Park, named after botanist and former president of the University of Iowa Thomas Huston Macbride (1848–1934). In addition to teaching hundreds of students during his years as a natural sciences and botany professor at the University of Iowa, Macbride left his mark on the world in two ways. Among fellow scholars he was best known for his 1899 book, “The North American Slime-Moulds,” but four years before that, he gave a speech to the Iowa Academy of Science in which he proposed that the state establish a system of rural or county parks. [1] In a follow-up paper he gave to the academy the next year, Macbride argued that parks “are needed, that they are needed now; that they should have the highest scientific value; and that in the eastern United States, at least, they are everywhere practicable.” By county parks he meant “open grounds available for public use in rural districts ... devoted to public enjoyment, purely to the public happiness, a holiday ground for country and city folk alike.” Macbride joined a committee that the academy formed after his first presentation to petition the state to conserve lands for parks, and in 1901 he helped establish the Iowa Forestry and Conservation Association. By 1917, conservationists generated enough support that the Iowa General Assembly passed the Holdoegel Park Act, its first comprehensive state park bill. [2] When this park was nearing completion in 1934, a contest was held to pick the name. Of the 600 submitted entries, the judges chose the one put forth by Mrs. Onie Strub. For naming Lake Macbride State Park, she received a $50 prize. [3]

 

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