Fairmount Park Renovation

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Fairmount Park Renovation

Postby icejammer » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:40 am

Plans may bring new life to Fairmont Park

In the early part of the last century, Fairmount Park was considered one of the premier parks in the country, a former Council Bluffs city employee said a few years back.

According to Lyle Chase, a longtime recreational superintendent for the Parks Department, Fairmount featured a small zoo, a swan pond and pavilions, plus the turnaround point of a trolley-car line. What's more, it was equipped with an irrigation system years before other parks had them.

"In its heyday, it was quite a park," Chase said.

Those sights are long gone, and so is some of its allure.

"The park is in need of some attention," said Parks Director Ronald Hopp. "It could be used more."

Plans are in the works to create a master plan to bring new life back to that green space by the Loess Hills in south-central Council Bluffs.
Last edited by icejammer on Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby icejammer » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:34 pm

Big Muddy Workshop Inc. of Omaha chosen to create master plan for Fairmount Park

"Fairmount Park has a tremendous history in the community and served as a crown jewel," he said. "It has tremendous natural resources, and restoring and enhancing those resources can benefit the surrounding neighborhoods, the community and surrounding areas."

The master plan project will encompass 110 acres, Hopp said.

"It's a very unique urban landscape that touches five different neighborhoods," he said.

The Omaha firm has been involved in numerous city park renovation projects throughout the Midwest, including Falls Park in Sioux Falls, S.D.
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Postby Harpoon » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:01 pm

Isn't this the park someone committed suicide by driving over the cliff a couple months ago?

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Postby icejammer » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:37 am

Yes, someone drove their car over the edge a month or two ago, but I never heard for sure if it was deliberate or accidental.
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Postby SaOmaha » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:07 pm

Few times a year, I do make it over to Council Bluffs from Omaha.  One of my favorite places to visit is the Fairmont park Overlook.

Below is the view of “flat” Council Bluffs and downtown Omaha from the overlook.

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The view from the bluffs, just southeast of downtown, not far from the General Dodge House.

Image
The same view with a 15x digital Zoom. An optical zoom would be better.

On my last visit to Fairmont Park, I drove all over the park and saw how it was and how it can be a great place again.  It even has a ruin of lodge on a hill in the southeast area of the park. It will be interesting to see what the new master plan dreams up!!

I took a hike deep into the park south from the overlook.  You feel like you are miles way from civilization, when you are only a few blocks away. On a side trail up a Bluff, I found this great view below of downtown Omaha framed by trees.

Image
.

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Postby icejammer » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:57 am

It even has a ruin of lodge on a hill in the southeast area of the park.


That would be the lodge that I believe burned down some time ago.  I rarely go on that side of the park, which is pretty remote, seems like every time I go up on that side, there's somebody parked at the end of the parking lot doing the wild thing and who knows what else.

Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences there, it is a great park, a little facelift will do wonders for it!
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Postby nativeomahan » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:27 pm

I remember this park fondly, from my childhood, when my brother and sister and our friends used to go over on Sunday with the family for a picnic, and climb the steep hillside, that seemed like a mountain.  It was well worth the drive from Omaha.  I am happy to hear that the park is getting some much needed attention.

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Postby icejammer » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:55 am

Daily Nonpareil wrote:...and public input meetings could begin in four to six weeks on renovation plans for Fairmount Park, Hopp said...
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Postby Brad » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:06 pm

They need an observation tower!
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Postby icejammer » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:02 pm

Excellent suggestion Brad!
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Postby Brad » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:13 pm

icejammer wrote:Excellent suggestion Brad!


I am thinking with a camera in front of my eye.
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Postby icejammer » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:11 pm

Fairmount Park open house today

The Council Bluffs Parks, Recreation and Public Property Department is completing a new master plan to guide the redevelopment of historic Fairmount Park.

The community is invited to a public open house at the Council Bluffs Library, 400 Willow Ave., from 5:30 and 7 p.m. today to participate in this process.

All are invited to share their knowledge of the park's history, as well as provide ideas regarding future park uses. Participants can drop in any time between 5:30 and 7 p.m. to hear a short presentation on the park and master planning process and then share views and ideas.
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Postby icejammer » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:27 pm

Fairmount Park public meeting to be held Tuesday

The community is invited to a public meeting at the Council Bluffs Library, 400 Willow Ave., Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to participate in the development of the Fairmount Park Master Plan. . .

At the meeting, concepts will be presented on the recreational uses and park improvements that are proposed for different areas within the park. . . .
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Postby Brad » Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:04 pm

If anyone goes, please propose the OBSERVATION TOWER!
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Postby icejammer » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:44 am

Just drop an e-mail to the Parks and Rec department, there should be contact info on the city website, http://www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/
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Postby icejammer » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:42 pm

Fairmount has potential to be 'crown jewel'

In its early years, Fairmount Park featured scenic drives, a swan pond, flower gardens, a bandstand and a zoo.

Collectively, all of those things made Fairmount Park a destination, said a landscape consultant Tuesday at a public meeting about the park.

Efforts are under way to bring new life back to one of the oldest parks in Council Bluffs.

"This park has the potential to be a crown jewel of Council Bluffs," said Parks Director Ronald Hopp. . .


and just for you Brad!

As far as objectives, the team suggested the park entries be enhanced, destination-type features like scenic walks and viewing tower be created. New walkways should connect the park to area neighborhoods and unused roads could be converted to trails. . .

One of the higher, if not the highest, point in the park is a hill called Mount Graham, about 1,280 feet high. There could be a new viewing tower there, along with picnic areas.

On the eastern side of the park, there could be smaller group picnic areas and maybe a pedestrian bridge over the park's northeastern entrance. . .
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Postby Brad » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:26 am

One of the higher, if not the highest, point in the park is a hill called Mount Graham, about 1,280 feet high. There could be a new viewing tower there, along with picnic areas.


Excellent.

I forget how low CB is.  Downtown is about Elevation 980 FT, Crown Point is in about the same range as the lookout, Elevation 1,280 feet, Southport in the 1200+ range.  I am guessing CB is in the 950 range which makes a tower built on a 1,280 Foot hill an awesome vantage point of all of Omaha!
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Postby icejammer » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:00 am

which makes a tower built on a 1,280 Foot hill an awesome vantage point of all of Omaha!


As long as they build the tower over the treetops!  Or, take down some trees.  While that's not a popular idea, there were very few trees in Fairmont Park when it was created.
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Postby icejammer » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:39 pm

Fairmount Park plan gets nod from council

The Council Bluffs City Council approved a master plan for Fairmount Park Monday night, moving the project to its next phase.

That will involve finding the funds to pay for improvements, a local official said.

"We'll begin working on allocating capital improvement dollars for it and also be aggressive in other funding sources - not unlike what we did for Bayliss Park," Parks Director Ronald Hopp said.

The estimated cost to implement the Fairmount Park master plan is $6 million, he said. . .

One improvement to be done quickly, Hopp said, is to replace two playground areas now in disrepair and also relocate them.

Other improvements in the plan would be a multi-story viewing tower at the top of what's called Mount Graham. . .

There would also be an interactive water play area near a new playground in the park's West Valley section. A 200-foot long pedestrian bridge would be installed to better connect the park's East Ridge and Mount Graham, and a new, enclosed pavilion would be constructed at the site of the former lodge on the East Ridge for public gatherings. An open-air picnic shelter near Mount Graham is also planned.
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Postby Brad » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:48 pm

Awesome, just what I wanted:

Other improvements in the plan would be a multi-story viewing tower at the top of what's called Mount Graham. . .
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Postby Coyote » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:55 pm

Is Mt Graham where the parking lot is - looking west to Omaha?
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Postby icejammer » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:58 pm

Yes, more or less, Mt. Graham would be the high point of ground just east of the parking lot.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:04 pm

Ah Yes. That would be the high point. That would be a great view of the whole area above the tree line.
BTW - If you know - What is the highest elevation in CB and how would this compare to that point?
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Postby icejammer » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:17 pm

Off the top of my head, I would say Mt Graham is the highest point in CB.  Need to double-check a topo map to be sure.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:23 pm

icejammer wrote:Off the top of my head, I would say Mt Graham is the highest point in CB.  Need to double-check a topo map to be sure.


I would think the same also, but with the Loess Hills it is hard to figure.
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Postby icejammer » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:23 pm

From Public Works...

The highest elevation is located on the North edge of city 1275 feet above sea level Tower Ridge Drive The lowest elevation is located on the South edge of the city 954 feet above sea level the Pony Creek Outfall.
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Postby Coyote » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:26 pm

icejammer wrote:From Public Works...

The highest elevation is located on the North edge of city 1275 feet above sea level Tower Ridge Drive The lowest elevation is located on the South edge of the city 954 feet above sea level the Pony Creek Outfall.


OK - and where is Tower Ridge Drive for us unCBers?
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Postby icejammer » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:05 pm

Coyote wrote:OK - and where is Tower Ridge Drive for us unCBers?


Northeast edge of town, just inside the City limits.  It's away from the bluffline though, so there's no real view of the Omaha skyline, as there is 1 or 2 ridge nearly as high to the west.
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Postby thenewguy » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:33 am

My grandma lives on the backside of the park...i never realized how great a view it was way back when!  And coyote, i dig the "clerks" icon, haha.  "I wasn't even supposed to be here today!"

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restoration of park

Postby AnnaleeG » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:48 pm

Where exactly does the park plan stand at?

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Postby Bosco55David » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:27 pm

icejammer wrote:
It even has a ruin of lodge on a hill in the southeast area of the park.


That would be the lodge that I believe burned down some time ago.


Know this is an old post, but this is correct. That lodge used to a pretty popular place back in the day, and my late aunt and uncle had their wedding reception there.

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Re: restoration of park

Postby Brad » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:15 pm

AnnaleeG wrote:Where exactly does the park plan stand at?


I haven't heard anything for a while.  I was just over there and nothing has changed.
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Re: restoration of park

Postby icejammer » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:55 pm

Brad wrote:
AnnaleeG wrote:Where exactly does the park plan stand at?


I haven't heard anything for a while.  I was just over there and nothing has changed.


With the change in leadership in Parks and Rec and the recent emphasis on the riverfront park, this is on the side-burner.
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Re: Fairmont Park Renovation

Postby Brad » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:26 pm

I was up shooting photos this morning at Fairmont Park and noticed they have done a little bit of work. They did a little grading south of the parking area on the overlook and they also put a new guardrail around the overlook. Other than that, its basically the same.

They still need to trim the trees in front of the overlook or there won't be an overlook much longer.
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Re: Fairmont Park Renovation

Postby skinzfan23 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:54 pm

Brad wrote:They still need to trim the trees in front of the overlook or there won't be an overlook much longer.

I was up there last year and was thinking the same thing.

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Re: Fairmont Park Renovation

Postby Omaha_Gabe » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:12 pm

I had never been there before until this weekend. I think it's a great park... what's brought us there? Geocaching.. it's a great thing that we do with the kids they love it! If you haven't heard of it look it up or download the app. It's loads of fun

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Re: Fairmont Park Renovation

Postby Coyote » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:21 pm

Omaha_Gabe wrote:I had never been there before until this weekend. I think it's a great park... what's brought us there? Geocaching.. it's a great thing that we do with the kids they love it!   If you haven't heard of it look it up or download the app. It's loads of fun


I love geocaching! I used to do it every week in Colorado, but haven't since moving back last year. If you have kids, it is a great education tool while having a blast.

Now, back to Fairmount, I haven't been there in years, but am surprised we don't have any photos in this thread... Brad...

This place is a hidden gem for CB, and if you haven't been up the hill, you are missing a great view!

Edit - just realized we need to change the title of this thread from Fairmont (icejammer)...
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Re: Fairmont Park Renovation

Postby Brad » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:30 am

Coyote wrote:Now, back to Fairmount, I haven't been there in years, but am surprised we don't have any photos in this thread... Brad...

This place is a hidden gem for CB, and if you haven't been up the hill, you are missing a great view!


Here is the view yesterday morning.
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Re: Fairmount Park Renovation

Postby Coyote » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:55 pm

The Lookout area needs attention, but this Park is but a shell of what it could be:

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Burnt out Fairmount Lodge:
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Empty Picnic Pads:
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Playground:
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West edge picnic grounds, with antenna where the Carillon used to be
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Nice Lookout area:
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Re: Fairmount Park Renovation

Postby icejammer » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:13 pm

Water playground, trails highlight Fairmount Park renovations

Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh today announced a major project, “Return to Fairmount Park,” thanks in part to a $100,000 lead donation by the Noon Rotary Club of Council Bluffs. . .

The woodlands of Fairmount Park will be restored, and new trails will be established to improve pedestrian access to the city’s oldest park from surrounding neighborhoods.

The highlight of the project will be a plaza on the site of the former Fairmount Lodge overlooking a new water playground, the first of its kind in Council Bluffs. . . .
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