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Stay current with our monthly e-newsletter featuring project updates, industry insights, and more.

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Client Name
City of Altoona
Client Type
Project Type
Services Provided
  • Construction Administration
  • Construction Observation
  • Park Design & Planning
  • Topographic Survey & Subsurface Utility Engineering
  • Trail Design & Planning
  • Wetland & Stream Delineation & Mitigation
Project Manager
Contact Don Marner, PLA
Landscape Architect/Development Business Unit Leader

Creating a Civic Park in Altoona

In 2006, Snyder & Associates began the initial planning for the 8th Street Corridor Master Plan that prompted the idea to develop the area into a community-wide plaza park. The idea evolved partially due to its centralized location, connection to residential areas and businesses, and pedestrian links throughout the community.

Snyder & Associates was commissioned to complete the master plan and study the idea in depth to determine the feasibility of a civic park in Altoona. From these initial concepts, we developed the Civic Plaza Master Plan that realized the possibility of accommodating large-scale community events such as farmers markets, art fairs, and local music.

Centrally located in Altoona, Iowa, this community plaza incorporates a performance stage, pavilion, concession stand, and other amenities including:

  • Splash grounds
  • Elevated sculptural garden
  • Natural waterfall feature
  • Fountains
  • Trail system

Stream & Wetland Mitigation

To compensate for the loss of 0.39 acres of wetland and approximately 1,000 linear feet of stream which occurred as part of the project, we developed a restoration plan and mitigation concept. The plan involved constructing 0.85 acres of palustrine wetlands on-site, relocating the stream, and constructing 125 linear feet of stream.

Four of approximately 11 acres that comprise the project site were impacted due to construction over the past twenty years. These impacts include:

  • Installation of sanitary sewer lines, stormwater lines, and electrical lines
  • Construction of the asphalt paved recreational trail, war memorial, and gazebo with concrete paving and plantings
  • Grading for First Avenue South and culvert extensions

The purpose of the mitigation was to assure no net loss of wetlands and to replace those destroyed with wetlands that meet or exceed the original wetlands’ function and value. As a result, the mitigation site achieved the following functions:

Wetland Function & Corresponding Value

Water storage — Assist in flood control

Toxicant removal — Aid in pollution control

Wildlife abundance — Increased biodiversity

Mitigation monitoring of the site began in 2012 post construction and continued through 2017. During monitoring, the site contained minimal invasive species and a variety of native forbs and grasses, demonstrating that the native environment can blend well with today’s urban setting.

Environmental Services Provided:

  • Wetland and stream delineation
  • Mitigation planning and design
  • USACE 404 permitting
  • Mitigation construction monitoring
  • Mitigation as-built
  • Annual monitoring