Archive for the ‘Des Moines Water Works Park’ Category

October 2, 2018

Water Works Park Improvements

Construction of the first phase of Des Moines Water Works Park improvements is underway. The improvements include a two-way amphitheater, great lawn, celebration lawn, restrooms, a marketplace, natural play areas and outdoor classrooms, pathways, and parking. Improvements are expected to be completed by May 2019. The area will provide a platform for park users to engage in educational, recreational, and cultural activities. A passageway under Fleur Drive to safely connect Water Works Park to Gray’s Lake Park is planned for 2019.


In the coming months, park users can also expect a dedication of “The Wild,” a celebration of the over 1,400 acres of Water Works Park that will remain largely untouched. These areas will be enhanced with signage and virtual information tools that allow for more self-discovery and understanding the role Des Moines Water Works Park plays in both clean water production and the many ecosystems contained within.

The Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation has privately raised funds for the park improvements and do not come from Des Moines Water Works ratepayers. For more information on the planned Des Moines Water Works Park improvements, visit:

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Des Moines 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 July 25, 2013

Chilling in Water Works Park

RAGBRAI riders love our water stationsApproximately 10,000-12,000 RAGBRAI riders and their support teams camped overnight in Water Works Park July 23, 2013.  One cyclist was overheard remarking that Water Works Park was “by far the coolest camp” he’d experienced in his 16 years of riding.

While riders and campers enjoyed the nature of the park and the close community it provided, the “hot” commodity was a chilled water station where bicyclists could fill  their reusable water bottles with ice cold tap water.  Recently designed by Des Moines Water Works staff, the water station connects to any water supply and utilizes ice to cool the tap water flowing through a 100’ coil to four bottle filling faucets. Chilled water was extremely popular as the riders are accustomed to drinking lukewarm tap water all day long.

Two additional water stations were strategically positioned in the campground to provide thousands of gallons of water for the campers’ needs.  Riders were extremely appreciative of the plentiful supply of water allowing them to clean up and board a bus to experience the festivities in downtown Des Moines.

Cyclists and their support teams got an early start July 24 and by mid-morning, few traces remained of the epic camp-out the night before.  From all accounts, cyclists enjoyed their stay in Des Moines and the hospitality offered by the entire community.  In return, DMWW thanks RAGBRAI-ers for being great stewards of Water Works Park.  Come back and enjoy!

Posted by: Pat Ripley No Comments
Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Uncategorized, Water Quality 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 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


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 January 17, 2012

Year in Review

From starting up our third treatment plant to educating more than 27,000 children and adults, here’s a look at the top 25 accomplishments in 2011 at Des Moines Water Works.

  1. Commissioned DMWW’s third water treatment facility, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant
  2. Responded to 300 main breaks
  3. Assisted 56,000 customers in the office and visited 42,000 customers in the field
  4. Launched Parkitecture competition for the redesign of Water Works Park
  5. Repaved roads in Water Works Park
  6. Hosted several events at Water Works Park, including HyVee Fishing Derby, Big Country Bash, weddings, charity walks, Des Moines Marathon and Jolly Holiday Lights
  7. Planted approximately 70,000 plants and flowers in Water Works Park and Fleur Drive medians
  8. Found $611,000 in process efficiencies throughout the utility
  9. Reaffirmed  our strong Aa1 bond rating by Moody’s, second from highest attainable
  10. Redesigned new website with enhanced customer features, like consumption alerts
  11. Implemented electronic checks as a new customer payment option
  12. Awarded “Public Policy Champion of the Year” from Iowa Ducks Unlimited
  13. 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.
  14. 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. 
  15. 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.
  16. Reported our greenhouse gas emissions to The Climate Registry
  17. Contributed $19,286.28 to the United Way of Central Iowa through employee donations – a record year!
  18. Reduced employees’ metabolic syndrome risk factors by 18% from 2010 to 2011
  19. Awarded two safety recognition awards
  20. Received a Proclamation from Mayor Cownie during Drinking Water Week, recognizing DMWW’s contributions to the community
  21. Assisted DMACC with a new water/waste water curriculum
  22. Received a book and dedication from Ankeny first graders illustrating the importance of clean rivers
  23. Celebrated the importance of water with over 2,000 Iowa 5th grade students at the Iowa Children’s Water Festival
  24. Reached 27,800 people through classroom presentations, tours and special events conducted by the Urban Environmental Partnership.
  25. 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
Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in About Us, Botanical Center, Customer Service, Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Water Works Park, Education, Employees, Environment, Parks, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant September 7, 2011

Fall Gardening Tips

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.

Posted by: Todd Monson No Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks July 26, 2011

Beautifying Fleur Drive

Anyone who travels Fleur Drive can’t help but notice the spectacular, colorful plantings in the medians from Army Post north to the bridge near Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.   

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.

Posted by: Scott Atzen 2 Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks July 22, 2011

Water Works Park Treasure Hunt Begins!




The Water Works Park Treasure Hunt has begun.  Check out our Facebook page for more information and the first clue.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks July 6, 2011

Treasure Hunt in Water Works Park

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!

Posted by: Jo Taylor 1 Comment
Labels: , , Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks