Adventures planned and unplanned await in Coon Rapids

"Charlie the Praying Mantis" is one of the many artworks that untethered adventurers will find in and around Coon Rapids and the Whiterock Conservancy.

One of my favorite things to do — and I do this less than you might suppose — is to plan to attend an event and then spontaneously go off on a small adventure. When this happens with friends, they have to pull out their phones and check with others or make arrangements to have the dog fed or let out — I don’t have those tethers.

I attended a cover-crop event at Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids last week. In addition to an interest in farming practices, I also have a constant running list of Iowa attractions to visit.

While learning about cover crops, these two interests intersected when I recalled that one of the items on my Iowa travel list was a mural in Coon Rapids.

If you’re in search of artwork in Coon Rapids, make sure that Liz Garst, granddaughter of the famous farmers Roswell and Elizabeth Garst and a board member and volunteer for Whiterock Conservancy, wanders by during your conversation so that she can provide a long list of artworks in Coon Rapids and at Whiterock.

Many readers are probably familiar with the eye-catching Hybrid Icons — by artist David Dahlquist — along Iowa Highway 141 at Coon Rapids, but there’s also the sculpture park along the highway, plus a mural downtown, an ear of corn made of planter plates south of town and other artwork — more planter plates among them — at the River House and the campground across from the River House at Whiterock Conservancy.

The photos illustrate my small, spontaneous — I’m more the planner type — exploration of art in Coon Rapids. Even on the cloudy, incredibly windy day of my adventure, the artwork and landscape of Whiterock Conservancy were beautiful. Let the wind take you there soon.


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