Our Park System

The trees and Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation Department manages a park system of approximately 715-acres in size and includes 29 parks, a nature preserve, eight landmarks and monuments, a sports recreation complex, two aquatic centers, and 41 miles of trails throughout the city.

Our focus over the next several years is to upgrade our parks, trails, and assets through a place making and city beautification approach.  Towards this end, we will develop initiatives and projects which focus on creating visual interest along our trails, replace landscapes and site furnishings, and upgrade sports fields.  An important aspect of this approach is to review our operating practice with the intent to maintain our parks and facilities as cost effectively and efficiently as possible.   We will capitalize on community's assets, creativity, and engagement with the objective of creating public spaces that celebrate our city, promote health and wellness, and provide our patrons with wonderful recreational opportunities.   

Iowa Smokefree Air Act--smoking is prohibited during any and all events taking place in the park.Iowa

Our Place Making and City Beautification Initiatives and Projects include:

Our Initiatives 

Trail Assessment: We recently completed an assessment of our 41-mile trail system. The entire system was separated into segments for evaluation. We also located damaged areas such as a pot holes, cracks, depressions, etc. We are currently analyzing the data in our GIS system. Once completed, we will understand how many miles or percentage of the trail system is in poor, fair, good, and excellent condition. This knowledge will allow us to prepare a capital improvement program and schedule for the repair and upgrade of the trail system. It’s our goal to have the entire system in a condition rating of good or higher.

City Beautification: We are maintaining forty baskets in the downtown area, adding annuals and perennials to the planting areas at intersections, maintaining the sidewalk planters and median within the 100 Block. Over the next several months we will be drafting a City Beautification Plan. This plan will outline the strategy we have over the next several years to improve our street side planting beds, medians, and key gateways into our City.

Fall Color Corridor:   We have chosen a location to design the first reach of our corridor and we are beginning to identify certain species for the corridor.    Please understand the final plant list will depend on availability - and we are looking for species with great and vibrant color.

Our Projects

Harry Langdon Median Planting:  The trees and shrubs have been removed and we anticipate planting in the Spring of 2020. 

Park Asset Assessment:  This summer we will complete a condition assessment of our park assets (e.g., restrooms, shelters, site furnishings, etc).  This information will be spatial referenced in our GIS system and allow us to track when upgrades were completed more efficiently.

Bayliss Park

Bayliss Fountain with flowers - 2007

Trolley Park

Trolley Park