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Johnston Cub Scouts
Lew Clarkson Park, previously know as Creekside Park, was named for long-time Johnston resident and developer, Lew Clarkson.
Clarkson started the Johnston Little League in the mid-1950s as well as the incorporation of the City of Johnston.
Lew Clarkson Park (formerly Creekside Park)
Creekside Park City of Johnston Lew Clarkson Park Lew Clarkson Park, previously know as Creekside Park, was named for long-time Johnston resident and developer, Lew Clarkson. Lew Clarkson Park, located at NW 54th Avenue, is a 55-acre park adjacent to Beaver Creek.
Lew Clarkson, 88, greets Desiree Reichenbacher and Karen Metzler, right, on a trail north of 54th Avenue just off 86th Street in Johnston.Clarkson, a longtime Johnston resident and developer, attends the same church as Reichenbacher and Metzler.The Johnston parks board is considering naming a park or trail for Clarkson.ZOOMGARY FANDEL/THE REGISTER\uFEFFLew Clarkson, 88, walks on a trail north of 54th Avenue near his home in Johnston.Clarkson was a founder of the Johnston Cub Scouts and Johnston Little League, and helped incorporate the city.For Ron Nielsen the question isn't whether a Johnston amenity should be named for longtime resident and real estate developer Lew Clarkson.Nielsen, of Johnston, wrote to the city's parks board last month to request that a park or trail be named for Clarkson, who helped incorporate the city in 1969.Nielsen has known Clarkson, 88, for many years through Johnston Kiwanis and other groups.Nielsen called Clarkson "an ambassador for Johnston for many, many years," citing Clarkson's presence in real estate as well as his devotion to the families of Johnston, evidenced through his founding of Johnston Cub Scouts and the Johnston Little League."He and Margaret raised five sons here, and Lew has had a tremendous love of sports all his life," Nielsen said.Clarkson said he's grateful for Nielsen's accolades and honored to be considered for recognition, but stressed that he has never expected an official "thank-you" for his contributions."Margaret and I have a lot to be thankful for in spite of where we are now," Clarkson said, adding that he is "brokenhearted" after having placed his wife in a nursing home recently."I've always said that I've been able to be successful because I love Johnston and Johnston loves me," he said."I can't imagine being in a more wonderful city."Nielsen said Clarkson, who owns several real estate offices, still puts on a coat and tie each morning and goes to the office.They were going to have to cancel the trip until Lew and Margaret stepped in and gave the choir the other half.It wasn't a loan - it was a gift, and those kids got to go to Europe."Nielsen said Clarkson often provided pre-game meals for the high school football and basketball teams, and he started an arrangement with a Johnston ice cream store by which Little League players could have all the free ice cream they wanted and Clarkson would pay the tab at the end of each month."Lew never talked about what he did, and he never asked for anything in return," Nielsen said.Clarkson was born in southern Iowa and raised on Des Moines' east side.After graduating from East High School, he earned a Purple Heart in World War II before returning to Des Moines and beginning a career in real estate.His job took him to Johnston, where he has lived in the same house on Northwest 86th Street for more than 50 years."In those days, 86th was just a gravel road; about 25 cars drove on it each day and I knew 20 of them," Clarkson said."Now, it's 1,000 times that and no one knows anyone.But that growth is good for the city."Clarkson said he had the city's growth in mind when he began working with a group of local leaders to incorporate Johnston in 1969."I had built the first commercial building in Johnston, on Merle Hay Road, and we had Brenton Bank and the post office in there," he said.Clarkson said he envisions a continued bright future for Johnston."The city leaders are outstanding people who cooperate with business," he said."That's the key."Clarkson said that although he never expected a Johnston amenity to be named for him, he'd like to see that happen."It would be a thrill for Margaret and me and for the family," he said.
Lew Clarkson Park is Official
City of Johnston, Iowa - News City of Johnston Lew Clarkson Park is Official August 08, 2007 (Parks & Recreation) On Monday, August 6th, the City Council approved changing the name of Creekside Park to Lew Clarkson Park. Clarkson is a long-tiime resident and developer in Johnston. He was instrumental in the startup of the Johnston Little League in the mid-1950's as well as the incorporation of the City of Johnston. Click here to read the nomination essay for Lew Clarkson Park.
Park Board Considers Lew Clarkson Park
City of Johnston, Iowa - News City of Johnston Park Board Considers Lew Clarkson Park Park at their June meeting . The Board will now consider a second reading of this proposal at the July 17, 2007 Park Advisory Board meeting with opportunity for public comments. he Park Advisory Board meets at