Future Bee Branch Outdoor Recreational Space
Community Input Results
As part of the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project, the City of Dubuque plans to redevelop the former Blum Co. properties located at 411 and 501 E. 15th St. into a flood mitigation maintenance facility that includes space for public use and an outdoor recreational space abutting the reconstructed Bee Branch Creek.
The site operated as a scrap yard and recycling facility for over 50 years and is currently contaminated with hazardous substances which make it unsuitable for redevelopment without environmental remediation. The City secured $200,000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants in 2016 and 2017 through the EPA’s Brownfields program to clean up the site.
As part of the grants, the City asked residents for their feedback on what types of activities and equipment they thought would best serve the community in the future recreational space. Residents were invited to vote for their top three out of 12 concepts and/or submit their ideas on the City’s website. Paper ballots were also available at City Hall. A total of 591 responses were collected.
The top five concepts were as follows:
1. Natural Playscape
Areas where kids can play with natural elements such as wood, rocks, water, sand, and living plants. They feature as little man-made components as possible and are designed with the intent of bringing children and people back to nature.
2. Climbing Opportunities
Climbing equipment of all shapes and sizes will be considered -- from rock climbing walls to net climbers.
3. Bike/Scooter Playground
Bike and scooter playgrounds include tunnels, bridges, ramps, and pump tracks to help riders of all ages develop their skills.
4. Universal Access to the Water
An ADA accessible kayak and canoe launch and fishing pier or platform.
5. Outdoor Fitness Equipment
Outdoor fitness equipment is a great way to encourage a community to exercise in playgrounds and parks. Equipment can be installed as a cluster of outdoor exercise stations or installed along a trail.
Other ideas submitted by residents included a splash pad, dog park, an indoor walking area, a public market, a traffic bridge over the railroad tracks at 16th St., a community gardening space, and a mini golf course.
In 2018, a second phase of community engagement will be conducted which will expand on the results of the input gathered this year. The City’s design team will review the input from the community and then determine what concepts will work best given the property’s size and location. Ultimately, the design team’s recommendation will be brought to the mayor and city council for their final approval in 2019 or 2020.
Thank you to everyone who submitted their feedback and ideas! For more information, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/beebranchbrownfieldcleanup.