A million-plus-dollar facelift to a central park in Council Bluffs is finally complete and city leaders are elated over the improvements. Mayor Tom Hanafan says Big Lake Park has been a key fixture in the city’s park system for decades. Mayor Hanafan says, “Ever since I’ve been a kid, it was a place everybody went to their 4th of July picnics, fishing.”
He says the longtime park is sporting some renovated old features as well as some brand new ones. “We’ll have natural habitat, you can fish, we’ve got a picnic grounds there,” Hanafan says. “We’ve got a new boardwalk.” The lake was stocked with fish by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Hanafan says it’s remarkable how the park can give visitors the chance to get away from the bustle of the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area.
“You’ve got all the natural habitat and you’re sitting right in the middle of a million population and it looks like you’re right in the middle of a forest somewhere,” he says. The one-point-two million-dollar rehab was paid for with city funds, a grant from the Iowa DNR and a donation from Iowa West.
By Karla James