Posts Tagged ‘Water Works Park’

August 14, 2013

Healthy & Happy Outdoors at the Iowa State Fair

3Des Moines Water Works is a supporter of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Healthy & Happy Outdoors (H2O) program and was present when Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds kicked off the H2O program at the Iowa State Fair. The H2O program helps you get connected to Iowa outdoor destinations, including Water Works Park, and recreational activities for a healthier life! Helping Iowans improve physical and mental health through outdoor recreation is an important goal for DMWW.  Above photo:  IDNR Deputy Director Bruce Trautman, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

Here’s how the H2O program works: After you register on H2O website, you can record your outdoor activities in Iowa parks and recreational areas. Each recorded activity counts as an entry into a prize drawing for outdoor gear– from bikes to binoculars to a vacation getaway. The more outdoor activities you register, the more chances you have to win. Log in today to get started! Participants who log activities between now and August 31, 2013 are eligible to win an Iowa State Park camping coupon book.

1Des Moines Water Works and Iowa DNR is providing free water at the Iowa State Fair in the Department of Natural Resources building. Bring your reusable water bottle to the Fair and fill up!

Posted by: Linda Kinman No Comments
Labels: , , , , , , Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Environment, Health, Parks June 3, 2013

Canoes and Kayaks Now Allowed on Maffitt Lake

Maffitt Lake shorelineDale Maffitt Reservoir is a 200-acre lake that sits amongst the tall oaks overlooking Des Moines Water Works’ L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant.  For the first time ever, Des Moines Water Works is now allowing the use of canoes and kayaks on the lake. Effective June 1, canoe and kayak enthusiasts now have the opportunity to purchase an annual user permit, which will allow them to launch their watercraft on these pristine waters.

The lake, primarily located in Polk County, also has corners that reach into Warren, Dallas and Madison Counties. The reservoir was constructed in the early 1940s, as a backup water source and named in honor of then General Manager of Des Moines Water Works.  In 2000, Des Moines Water Works 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. For decades, nature lovers and anglers have enjoyed the serenity of the lake, as ducks, geese, river otter and a multitude of fish species call it home.

The annual boat permit can be purchased at Des Moines Water Works General Office, located at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, in Des Moines, for $20.00. No motors or sails of any kind will be allowed, which will help ensure the lake remains a high quality water source for the area’s drinking water supply. 

In addition to the land used for the lake itself, Des Moines Water Works maintains hundreds of acres surrounding the lake in an effort to protect the watershed. Today, Des Moines Water Works owns and maintains nearly 1,500 acres that comprise Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Park.

Located southwest of Des Moines, Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Park is truly a hidden gem. Fishing, picnicking, and hiking are favorite pastimes at Maffitt Reservoir and Park. 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.

Park hours are 7:00 am-8:00 pm (Standard Time) and 6:00 am-9:00 pm (Daylight Savings Time). Take Army Post Road west, across Interstate 35 and follow the signs.

For more information on the use of canoes and kayaks on Maffitt Lake, please contact Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 2 Comments
Labels: , , , , , , Posted in Maffitt Reservoir, Parks May 13, 2013

Crabapples in Bloom at Water Works Park

Water Works Park CrabappleOne 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.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , , , Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks December 12, 2012

Jolly Holiday Lights in Water Works Park

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 ParkDes 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.

Admission:

  • 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!

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 2 Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Parks November 7, 2012

Log Cabin in Water Works Park

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.

Posted by: Pat Ripley 2 Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Parks October 11, 2012

Wildlife in Water Works Park

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.

Posted by: Scott Atzen No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Parks September 12, 2012

Des Moines’ Hidden Gem: Maffitt Reservoir Park

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

Posted by: Scott Atzen 3 Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in History, Maffitt Reservoir, Parks, Source Water September 6, 2012

The Old White Barn in Water Works Park

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.

Posted by: Pat Ripley No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Flooding, History, Parks September 3, 2012

A Day in the Life of: Water Works Park Police Officer

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.

Posted by: Terilee H. Clark No Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in About Us, Employees, Parks August 30, 2012

Water Works Park Receives Grant from Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle

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.

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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 Weitz

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks