Archive for the ‘Des Moines Water Works Park’ CategoryMay 13, 2013
One of the world’s largest collections of flowering crabapple trees can be found at Water Works Park, and will be in full bloom this week. Visitors may drive or walk through the Arie den Boer Arboretum between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. to view the colorful display of 1,200 crabapple trees, located in the northeast corner of Water Works Park, off of Fleur Drive.
The Arie den Boer Arboretum was established in 1930, and contains over 350 varieties of flowering crabapple trees, including some varieties that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.Labels: Arie den Boer Arboretum, Crabapple Bloom, crabapple trees, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Water Works Park Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks August 30, 2012
Des Moines Water Works has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle.
“Recreating Water Works Park will bring more vitality to the Greater Des Moines metro area. The Leadership Circle is pleased to provide funding that will ensure the success of the Water Works Park renovation master plan,” said Barry Griswell, Chair of the Leadership Circle and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation.
Water Works Park is 1,500 acres located near downtown Des Moines and one of the nation’s largest urban parks. Current recreational uses of the park include walking/running, hiking and nature/bird watching. The park is home to Arie den Boer Arboretum, one of the world’s largest collections of flowering crab apple trees. The park also hosts several community events – including Jolly Holiday Lights and the Hy-Vee Fishing Derby– as well numerous private events. Water Works Park is bisected by the Raccoon River and a three mile long infiltration gallery, which is a major source of raw water for the Fleur Drive water treatment plant which provides drinking water for the Des Moines metro area.
“The Community Foundation Leadership Circle grant is a significant contribution to the funding of the master plan to re-envision and renovate Water Works Park into an education and recreation destination,” said Randy Beavers, CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works. “The Water Works master plan will highlight opportunities for education and emphasize the role water plays in the community, as well as incorporate additional recreational features throughout the park.
Des Moines Water Works, in collaboration with Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture, hosted an international design competition in 2011 to reinvent Water Works Park. Sasaki Associates, with RDG Planning & Design and Applied Ecological Services, was selected as the Parkitecture competition winner out of 44 proposals.
It is expected the design team and Des Moines Water Works will begin developing the master plan this fall. The process will include public outreach and community involvement.
For more information on the Water Works Park plan, visit the project website at waterworkscircuit.com.
About Des Moines Water Works
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) is a municipal water utility serving the citizens of Des Moines and surrounding communities (approximately 500,000 people). DMWW is an independently operated public utility with a commitment to leading, advocating and investing today and in the future to deliver water you can trust for life. Des Moines Water Works also operates Water Works Park – 1,500 acres of land near downtown Des Moines, and one of the nation’s largest urban parks.
About the Community Foundation Leadership Circle
The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle is a group comprised of donors who have created a substantial endowment that supports projects or causes that provide long-term community impact and address the most critical needs in Greater Des Moines. Leadership Circle donors pledge $2 million through initial contributions and deferred gifts. Backed by its funding ability, the Leadership Circle provides grants to projects that provide significant community enhancements.
Leadership Circle Members Include: Sunnie Richer & Roger Brooks, Suzie Glazer Burt, Patty & Jim Cownie, Richard L. Deming, M.D., Michele & Barry Griswell, Charlotte & Fred S. Hubbell, Sharon & Kyle J. Krause, Jill & Mark Oman and Emily & Fred WeitzLabels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Water Works Park Posted in About Us, Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks January 17, 2012
- Commissioned DMWW’s third water treatment facility, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant
- Responded to 300 main breaks
- Assisted 56,000 customers in the office and visited 42,000 customers in the field
- Launched Parkitecture competition for the redesign of Water Works Park
- Repaved roads in Water Works Park
- Hosted several events at Water Works Park, including HyVee Fishing Derby, Big Country Bash, weddings, charity walks, Des Moines Marathon and Jolly Holiday Lights
- Planted approximately 70,000 plants and flowers in Water Works Park and Fleur Drive medians
- Found $611,000 in process efficiencies throughout the utility
- Reaffirmed our strong Aa1 bond rating by Moody’s, second from highest attainable
- Redesigned new website with enhanced customer features, like consumption alerts
- Implemented electronic checks as a new customer payment option
- Awarded “Public Policy Champion of the Year” from Iowa Ducks Unlimited
- Implemented new Geographical Information System (GIS): DMWW’s water distribution staff is now using new GIS software that allows access of important information about the distribution system while working in the field.
- Established Enterprise Asset Management software: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) at its most basic level is a work order system. But as an asset management software, EAM is a lot more than that. Asset management goes beyond creating work orders and includes planning and scheduling projects, tracking assets’ conditions, and forecasting asset replacement.
- Ended use of gaseous chlorine at all facilities: All water disinfection throughout the utility (three plants and six remote locations) is now being done with liquid hypochlorite. This effort brings a safer environment for our employees and community.
- Reported our greenhouse gas emissions to The Climate Registry
- Contributed $19,286.28 to the United Way of Central Iowa through employee donations – a record year!
- Reduced employees’ metabolic syndrome risk factors by 18% from 2010 to 2011
- Awarded two safety recognition awards
- Received a Proclamation from Mayor Cownie during Drinking Water Week, recognizing DMWW’s contributions to the community
- Assisted DMACC with a new water/waste water curriculum
- Received a book and dedication from Ankeny first graders illustrating the importance of clean rivers
- Celebrated the importance of water with over 2,000 Iowa 5th grade students at the Iowa Children’s Water Festival
- Reached 27,800 people through classroom presentations, tours and special events conducted by the Urban Environmental Partnership.
- Hosted 237 meetings/social events and 53 weddings at the Des Moines Botanical Center, including 10 weddings on 11/11/11! The Botanical Center also welcomed 255 tour groups for a total of 9,560 people
Now is the time to start thinking about putting your garden to bed for the winter. September is an opportune time to start cleaning up beds by cutting back perennials and pulling out annuals that have quit blooming for the year.
By October, you should dig up and store tender bulbs such as dahlias, cannas, caladiums and elephant ears. You should cut off the foliage and store them in 50-65 degree temperatures until spring. Spring flowering bulbs should be purchased and planted outdoors at this time. Other plants that benefit from fall planting include evergreens, peony, phlox and bearded iris.
Before a hard freeze you should remove plants from containers, cut roses back to 18 inches and mulch, and continue cutting back plants in the garden that the frost has affected. Leaving old plants and plant debris in the garden over the winter is the best way to promote diseases in the spring, so remove them as soon as they are cut back.
Also remember, the best time to prune is after the trees and shrubs have gone dormant usually late December-February.
Plant materials for the medians are grown by the City of Des Moines Parks Department, and DMWW provides the labor to install and care (weeding, watering, and pruning) for the plantings.
Maintenance of the median flowerbeds is no easy chore, as three bed change-outs are done every year! In the early spring, the beds are tilled and the perennials are cut back. In mid May, approximately 35,000 assorted annuals are planted in the medians. Those beds are maintained until approximately September 1, when the annuals are removed and replaced with a fall display of mums, kale and pansies. After the first hard frost, the fall display items are removed, the beds are prepared and approximately 70,000 tulip bulbs are planted which remain dormant until the spring when they start blooming.
Safety is always the primary focus for employees working on Fleur Drive (or any street, for that matter). To protect those working in the medians, traffic cones and signs are set up to divert vehicles from the lanes closest to the medians. The last several years the plantings have been done on Sundays when there is less traffic on Fleur Drive.
During the summer months, approximately 30 hours per week are required to water the median plants. DMWW’s Vehicle Maintenance and Fabrication Shop employees fabricated a water truck with a nozzle that allows the driver to water the plants without getting out of the truck. Not only is that safer than standing in the medians, it has reduced the watering time in half.
We hope you enjoy the beautiful plantings along Fleur Drive.
Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Water Works Park Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks July 6, 2011
Des Moines Water Works will be hosting a treasure hunt in Water Works Park! A series of clues will be provided on our Facebook page which will lead you to the coveted treasure. Anybody can participate! The treasure is an honorary KEY TO THE PARK, not worth a plug nickel other then the fame bestowed on the finder. You will locate this key within the beautiful, 1500 acre Water Works Park. Come share the beauty of our park in a fun and competitive way. The hunt will begin July 20, 2011; watch for the first clue on Facebook. Our first treasure hunt will be relatively easy, as we ease into the rules and determine how quickly our players can decipher the clues. Additional treasure hunts will follow, which will be progressively more difficult.
Join the fun!
Are you a walker, jogger or biker in search of interesting places to exercise? Consider Des Moines Water Works Park. Nestled just a few minutes from downtown Des Moines and directly across from Grays Lake, it is a fabulous place to enjoy the outdoors. The park offers the arboretum with a beautiful fountain, countless varieties of crab apples that bloom in the spring, tons of beautiful flowers and a gazebo to offer shade when it’s hot.
Many are familiar with the ‘visible’ areas of the park. The real fun can often be found off the beaten path. Just off George Flagg Parkway (formerly named Valley Drive), you will find the iron bridge. Cars are not allowed across the bridge, so you can enjoy a quite nature walk. If you continue a short ways north of the bridge, you will notice the horses from the stables. They will often greet you by rushing to the fence. If you continue on this path, you will eventually cross over the Raccoon River and head into the South of Grand area. At this point you have multiple choices; to continue on to 63rd and Grand, veer to the west to head into West Des Moines or to the east to head into Greenwood Park. Crossing the bridge is just one of the many options for walking paths in the park.
Routine walkers in the park know they may encounter new experiences each day. Bald eagles have been seen nesting along the east/west road. Deer, wild turkeys, countless bird varieties, snakes, frogs, and turtles round out some of the wildlife regularly seen on or along the paths. A variety of water fowl and their babies can be found waddling along the ponds. But if nature is not your bag, strike up a conversation with visitors in the park. There are always people fishing that are more than happy to tell their fish stories.
The park is flat, ideal for the leisurely walker. The park is vast, ideal for the serious walker. The park is fun, ideal for anyone. Pick your desired distance, lace up your shoes and enjoy the park.
Are you looking for a fun, relaxing outdoor activity? Grab your fishing pole, tackle box and lawn chair and head to Water Works Park to try your luck at fishing. With the scenic surroundings, even if the fish aren’t biting, you’ll certainly enjoy the solitude and beauty of nature.
Fishing has always been a favorite pastime in Water Works Park. The park offers a multitude of perfect fishing spots, whether it is along the banks of the Raccoon River that winds through the park or one of the 12 ponds.
A variety of fish species can be found in the waterways that inhabit the park — bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, bullhead, and carp, to name a few. The ponds are adequately stocked with fish due to the frequent flooding of the Raccoon River. Also, this past May the Iowa DNR released 10,000 “keeper” size bullheads in the ponds for the Hy-Vee Fishing Derby, and rumor has it that many of those fish are still there.
Both the river and the ponds are accessible to the public during normal park hours. Patrons must abide by the Iowa Fishing Regulations, as posted on the Iowa DNR’s website: http://www.iowadnr.gov/law/regs/regs_fish.pdf
Do you have a favorite fishing spot in Water Works Park?
Des Moines Water Works, working in partnership with Iowa State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture, is excited to announce the launch of “Parkitecture,” an international design competition for Water Works Park. The competition, aptly named for its emphasis on the role landscape architecture and design play in re‐envisioning Water Works Park, will seek proposals from professional designers and will offer students the opportunity to submit design concepts in an honorarium category. Water Works Park, a 1,500‐acre park in the heart of Des Moines, has provided the main water supply for the city since the early 1900s and is a major component of the city’s open space system and trail network.
“The goal of the design competition is to draw awareness to the rich identity of Water Works Park and the value of the Raccoon River in serving the needs of Central Iowans,” said Ted Corrigan, Director of Water Distribution and Grounds for Des Moines Water Works. “The competition is intended to generate discussion about watershed issues and best practices and offer innovative design solutions to address ecological and recreational challenges specific to Water Works Park” (e.g., prone to frequent flooding)” he said. Through this visioning process, Des Moines Water Works would like to:
- Limit the impact of flooding on park features
- Restore the character of the Arie den Boer Crabapple Arboretum
- Provide opportunities for memorials and donations to the park
- Enhance vehicular and pedestrian circulation in the park and provide a visually appealing experience for both
- Improve parking throughout the site
- Separate park and operational activities, and
- Enhance the entrance to the park
What makes this design competition even more notable is DMWW’s partnership with Iowa State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture. Faculty and students provided much of the research and work to develop the competition through a service learning curriculum. Thirty‐two Iowa State University students in the Landscape Architecture 401 Professional Practice course, taught by Associate Professor Carl Rogers, worked this past spring semester to collect current and historical site information on Water Works Park and develop the competition brief. They also designed the website for registration and proposal submission.
“The partnership between the Department of Landscape Architecture and Des Moines Water Works has enabled landscape architecture students to learn first‐hand how a design project is conceived from the perspective of both the client and the user,” Rogers said. “The design competition will showcase the park and provide Des Moines Water Works and the City of Des Moines a new perspective of the role the park plays in the form of the city,” he said.
More details about the design competition can be found at http://parkitecture.design.iastate.edu.
Tell us what you think…what elements or ideas do you have that you’d like to see woven into the redesign of Water Works Park?