Announcing MidAmerican Energy Adventure Tower

SINC Announces River’s Edge Observation Tower Name

Council Bluffs, IA – A new riverfront amenity is coming to life for Council Bluffs River’s Edge Park.

Southwest Iowa Nonprofit for Collective Impact (SINC) presents the final designs for the $10 million privately funded observation/adventure tower planned for River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs. Thanks to a $5 million lead contribution from MidAmerican Energy, the new amenity will be named MidAmerican Energy Adventure Tower.

“We are proud to support the Council Bluffs community in a way that contributes to the quality of life and vibrancy of the area,” said Kathryn Kunert, Vice President of Economic Connections and Integration at MidAmerican Energy. “This adventure tower is the type of amenity that fosters an active and healthy lifestyle while supporting growth in the community that our customers call home.”

MidAmerican Energy Adventure Tower is a 138-foot tall observation tower with multiple platforms on different levels taking visitors above the trees to experience the expansive and unique river, woodland, and city views. An adventure course is part of the tower and provides challenging outdoor activities, including an outdoor 50′ climbing wall, simulated caving experiences, and a roll-glide ride.

“We are grateful to MidAmerican Energy for their altruism and commitment to the communities they serve,” said Pete Tulipana, President of SINC. “The MidAmerican Energy Adventure Tower will attract residents and visitors alike with a variety of components suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities.”  

The climbing wall at the tower is designed to meet the requirements of a pre-Olympic site for speed climbing. The roll-glide apparatus slides patrons down one of two 480′ tracks, suspended in the air by a specialized harness. Visitors can also climb through 400 lineal feet of simulated cave environments.

MidAmerican Energy Adventure Tower will be built above the flood zone, at the levee system’s elevation, to allow opportunities for use when the Missouri River levels fluctuate. An elevated walkway from the levee provides access. The structure will be supported by piles driven to bedrock and designed for flood conditions, including the potential impacts from ice. Public seating and restroom facilities will be connected to the elevated walkway.   

“We have diligently evaluated the design of the tower based on long-term operational and maintenance costs,” said Vincent Martorello, Director of Parks and Recreation at the City of Council Bluffs. “In doing so, we’ve selected durable materials that are readily available and design solutions that don’t require mechanical parts or electronic systems such as a rolling door vs electronically operated doors.”

In addition to the tower, plans for River’s Edge Phase Four include a treetop walk and a pier. SINC is conducting the fundraising and management for River’s Edge Phase Four in partnership with the City of Council Bluffs. Phase Four is funded entirely by private donations; tax increases are not part of the funding plan. The estimated budget is $50 million, and the Iowa West Foundation has provided the lead gift of $15 million.

“Metro area residents often ask why our region doesn’t have a theme park or adventure-style activities,” said Brenda Mainwaring, President and CEO of Iowa West Foundation. “The new Adventure Tower will begin to address this gap, adding two brand new adventures to the summer activity list – caving and roll-gliding. With spectacular views of the river, Loess Hills, and downtown Omaha, the tower will be a favorite year-round attraction. Iowa West is thrilled to help bring these new adventures to the Council Bluffs riverfront.”

SINC is an Iowa 501(c)(3) that exists to envision, design, and support transformational projects in Council Bluffs and Southwest Iowa by bringing partners together for collective impact. SINC’s model is to actively engage with regional nonprofits, philanthropists, public agencies, and private entities.

“River’s Edge continues to be a prime example of a successful public/ private partnership,” said Mayor Walsh. “We are grateful to SINC, MidAmerican Energy, and our other partners in the private sector for their commitment to Council Bluffs.”

Another product of SINC’s vison and leadership is the addition of Belle’s Play Garden at River’s Edge, which is set to open this summer with plans for a grand opening coming soon. 

Through its mission-based work, SINC aspires to improve the quality of life in Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa, making it the best place to raise a family and run a business.