Renovated Witmer Park dedicated

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Monday, September 18, 2023

Warm September sunshine bathed city and neighborhood leaders over the noon hour as the newly-renovated Witmer Park was dedicated.

(Mayor Frank Cownie and Supervisor Angela Connolly cut the ribbon at eh park dedication on September 18, 2023)

It's been a five-year process to complete the renovations of Witmer Park, located at 1610 34th Street.

Most members of the Des Moines city council were there, along with Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly, neighbors and Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department staff.

Mayor Frank Cownie thanked city staff, neighborhood leaders and sponsors. "It's the collaboration that makes it work," Cownie said.

(The new playground equipment at Witmer Park)

Mayor Pro-tem Connie Boesen said, "We can't do this without everyone pitching in and helping out. It's all ADA compliant. This started when I was on the parks board. I guess you have to be patient for good things to happen."

Planning and fundraising for Witmer Park began in 2018. City parks planner Colby Fangman told the crowd that 3,000 cubic yards of silt were dredged out of the pond. The playground was modernized, with neighbors doing the playground construction. The 16-acre park had an ADA-compliant walking path and fishing pier installed. Two shelters are available for rent. Two restrooms were built. And native plants and trees were added to the park, with 20 more canopy trees being added this fall.

The Drake and Beaverdale neighborhood associations cooperated on the project. BNA treasurer Jay Kozel said Fangman worked hard on the project and answere questions no matter the time of day. "When you think of good government and what government can do, I think of Colby Fangman," Kozel said.

(Walking trail and pond at Witmer Park)


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