Posts Tagged ‘Water Works Park’May 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 December 12, 2012
Light Up a Child’s Life! Make-A-Wish Iowa’s Jolly Holiday Lights, presented by Hy-Vee, a can’t miss family tradition at the holidays! The three-and-a-half mile route of holiday light displays is located in the scenic Water Works Park. Des Moines Water Works is a proud sponsor of this annual holiday tradition. Visit the beautiful light display 5:30-10:00 pm everyday through January 1.
Jolly Holiday Lights is Make-a-Wish Foundation of Iowa’s biggest fundraiser, and typically raises enough money to grant the wishes of about 30 of Iowa’s children living with a life-threatening medical condition.
- Cars: $10 ($5 Monday for Hy-Vee Value Nights!)
- Limos: $20
- Buses: $45
Santa’s Wish Shop – complete with snacks, Santa and gifts – is open 5:30-9:00 Sunday through Thursday and 5:30-10:00 Friday and Saturday. Santa’s Wish Shop will close December 23, to allow Santa time to deliver his gifts!Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Jolly Holiday Lights, Water Works Park Posted in Parks November 7, 2012
In early 1928, a log cabin was built to provide winter shelter for workers who were clearing the back tracts of the water supply grounds. Nestled among the trees in the western portion of the park and built of native wood, the cabin and outdoor stone fireplace were made available to the general public when the park opened in April 1933.
An article published in the April 19, 1933, issue of the Des Moines Tribune said, “The log cabin on the Des Moines Water Works grounds is one of the most popular picnic spots in the city. Charles S. Denman, manager of the water company, said that the cabin, which was opened to the public April 1, is booked for the remainder of the season, which will end September 1. Denman said his office has had as high as 80 applications in one day for use of the cabin by Des Moines organizations. Reservations include lodges, bridge groups, Sunday school classes, church congregations, sororities, sewing circles, and ladies’ aid societies.”
By 1955, the cabin was in such disrepair that it was torn down, but the fireplace and chimney were left and are still standing.Today the “log cabin area” is a popular spot for scouting events.
Des Moines Water Works Park is approximately 1,500 acres of natural woodlands, prairie and river bottom ground with an abundance of wildlife. The park, which is nestled in the city limits of Des Moines, and is only a stone’s throw from the downtown area, boasts a variety of wildlife species. Whether one bikes, walks or explores the park on nearly eight miles of bridle trails – they are sure to come across a variety of wildlife.
White-tail deer, turkey, fox and coyotes are a few of the wild animals that can be found in the park. Look in the tree tops and you will find hawks, ravens, various birds and even bald eagles. With acres of water within the ponds and Raccoon River, park patrons will find dozens of different species of waterfowl as well. Hundreds of ducks and geese call Water Works Park home and can be seen nesting on the banks and diving for food; however, we encourage park visitors to not feed them, so that they do not lose their natural ability to determine a predator threat.
Water Works Park is truly a nature lover’s destination and fall is the perfect time to enjoy it. What wildlife have you discovered? Water Works Park hours are 6:00 am-9:00 pm.
In 1935, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) started to consider storing Raccoon River water as an alternative water source when river levels were low. Following substantial drought conditions in 1939 and 1940, DMWW identified a sight for construction of a reservoir.
In 1942, Neumann Brothers Construction of Des Moines received the bid and surveying and construction began immediately. With the assistance of DMWW’s Grounds staff, Neumann completed construction of the lake and dam nearly a year and a half later. It was named the Dale Maffitt Reservoir in honor of the then General Manager of Des Moines Water Works. In 2000, DMWW began operating the L. D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant at Maffitt Reservoir in effort to produce enough water for Des Moines and surrounding areas’ growing population.
In addition to the land used for the lake itself, DMWW purchased hundreds of acres surrounding the lake, in an effort to protect the watershed and ultimately the drinking water to the best of its ability. Today, Des Moines Water Works owns and maintains nearly 1,500 acres in and around the reservoir and river.
The park is a nature lovers dream. Fishing, picnicking, and hiking are favorite pastimes at Maffitt Reservoir. For the general public’s convenience, several docks that extend nearly 20 feet into the lake are located along the shore. A nature trail of approximately 4.5 miles leads hikers around the lake.
In 2001, DMWW constructed permanent restrooms, installed wild flower areas and seal coated the park roads. Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Park is truly a hidden gem in the Des Moines area.
Maffitt Reservoir Park is located southwest of Des Moines – take Army Post Road west, across Interstate 35 and follow the signs.
Maffitt Reservoir Park hours are 7:00 am-8:00 pm (Standard Time) and 6:00 am-9:00 pm (Daylight Savings Time). For a complete list of park rules and regulations, visit http://www.dmww.com/parks-events/maffitt-reservoir/
Photo by Christopher A. Knisley – Freelance Wildlife Photographer
A recognizable landmark in Water Works Park is the weathered white barn just northwest of the general office building. The old barn is probably most well-known for serving as a rustic backdrop for numerous photo shoots over the years.
The barn was built around 1900 to shelter the horses that were owned by the water utility for farming operations. In those days, crops of wheat, alfalfa, corn, timothy, and clover were grown on the water supply grounds. In 1924, farming operations were discontinued on the grounds, so most of the horses and farm equipment were sold, retaining only those necessary for maintenance of the grounds.
Most recently, Water Works Park maintenance equipment has been stored in the barn and it is now the home to a large number of bats and mice.
Questions have been received from the public about the 100+-year old barn which has had its share of flood damage. Originally, plans had been to renovate it, but several years ago it was discovered that the barn has suffered significant termite damage that precludes putting any money into it. It is hoped that approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be received to relocate a section of the earthen levee near the barn and grounds shop building making room for new Water Works Park maintenance facilities on the dry side of the levee, and the current barn and shop building would be dismantled, with as much of the material salvaged as possible.
Meet Dean. Dean is a Des Moines Water Works Park Police Officer and has been helping visitors of Water Works Park for over six years. Park Police Officers keep Water Works Park safe for patrons and address any questions or concerns that visitors may have. But that isn’t all that they do.
The officers also provide security for the park at Maffitt Reservoir and other Des Moines Water Works facilities – including water towers and storage facilities located throughout the Des Moines metro area. They also respond to alarms or suspicious activity that may occur at Des Moines Water Works operated facilities.
Many organizations – Make-a-Wish Foundation’s Jolly Holiday Lights and HyVee Fishing Derby, to name a few – hold their events at Water Works Park, and the Park Officers assist with making each event safe and successful.
Des Moines Water Works Park Officers have been employed as police officers, so they are able to respond and provide assistance to incidents that may occur, such as assaults, car chases, lost people and pets. Citizens can also contact a Park Officer about a complaint or suspicious activity at a Des Moines Water Works facility or property.
Dean sees a lot of traffic – walkers/joggers, cars and bus tours – at Water Works Park during the spring, especially the weeks of the annual crabapple bloom in the Arie den Boer Arboretum. He also enjoys seeing the horseback riders on the bridle trail – a unique sight to see inside the city, as well as the many personal events, like wedding ceremonies and family reunions.
Water Works Park hours are 6:00 am-10:00 pm. Maffitt Reservoir Park hours are 7:00 am-8:00 pm (Standard Time) and 6:00 am-9:00 pm (Daylight Savings Time). For a complete list of park rules and regulations, visit http://www.dmww.com/parks-events/water-works-park.
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 March 30, 2012
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 weekend through next 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.
Due to the unseasonably warm weather Iowa has experienced, the annual bloom is approximately four weeks earlier than the typical bloom date.
Who is Arie den Boer? Arie den Boer was a renowned horticulturist and Des Moines Water Works employee. He started at DMWW in 1928 and introduced several hundred varieties of crabapple trees to Water Works Park. In 1933, the park opened to the public and thousands flocked to visit it. In 1961, the crabapple orchard was named Arie den Boer Arboretum (he retired that year). Also in 1961, den Boer received the medal of honor of the Garden Clubs of America, its highest horticultural award. His book, Flowering Crab Apples, was published in 1959 and contained color photos and reproductions of his slides, in addition to his own pen and ink sketches.
View this beautiful video created by a visitor to Water Works Park last year:
In the early years of Des Moines Water Works, an ornamental pool was a very popular public attraction. Located inside the Fleur Drive Treatment Plant – just south of the pumping station, Water Works Park visitors were welcome to visit the pool and stroll around the grounds.
The pool was built in the early 1920s, when the pumping station was being constructed. The dirt from the excavation of the pool was used to raise the elevation of the pumping station.
Each corner of the pool was adorned with a large brass frog with water spouting from its mouth. The decorative frogs were designed by sculptor Florence Sprague, an instructor in Drake University’s Art Department.
Shortly after completion of the pumping station, The Des Moines Tribune published pictures of the interior and exterior of the new facility in June 1923. A photograph of the pool was included with this caption: “Utility and Beauty – this beautiful bit of artistry does not adorn the gardens of some multimillionaire’s estate – it is to be found on the grounds of the Des Moines Municipal Water Plant.”
The pool became affectionately known as the goldfish pond after a retiring business owner donated some goldfish. When donated, the goldfish were small but grew to be six inches and weighed one pound each.
In the 1970s the pool was filled in because it was structurally unsafe. And since then, access to the treatment plant has been restricted to the general public for security reasons. To this day, nothing has been built on top of the old goldfish pond. It remains a “green space” in the treatment plant.
Two of the four brass frogs from the pond are now on display at Des Moines Water Works’ museum inside the Fleur Drive Treatment Plant. Who has the other two brass frogs remains a mystery …