Water storage in Crescent Park near Harderwijk

A new park has been constructed on the outskirts of the Drielanden neighbourhood in Harderwijk: Crescent Park. This park combines leisure facilities and room for nature with water storage.

What was the reason?

The accommodation of extreme downpours called for water storage facilities in the vicinity of the new Drielanden residential area. The municipality and the Vallei en Veluwe district water board eventually opted for combining such water storage with leisure facilities and room for nature. The result: Crescent Park.

What does the park look like?

Crescent Park features a large rain pond which serves as water storage during severe downpours. This reduces waterlogging issues in the vicinity of the park. A large play island is situated in the middle of the rain pond. A plank bridge connects the island to the rest of the park. The park also features a footpath that is nearly 4 km long. Crescent Park is home to a wide variety of tree and plant species. It also features a sand martin wall, a kingfisher breeding wall, and an insect hotel.

What is the municipality aiming to achieve?

Crescent Park is primarily intended as a water storage facility but in addition to combating waterlogging, the following purposes have also been taken into account:

  • Water quality and drought: in times of drought, a continuous supply of new water is important in order to keep the water quality up to par. There is no such supply from stagnant waters. For that reason, the original water surface area of the rain pond has been reduced, in order to ensure a sufficient supply of new water also during periods of drought. Furthermore, the shape of the pond has been adapted to avoid “blind corners” which stop the flow of water. In addition, the shores have been constructed in a nature-friendly manner to foster plant growth. Among other things, the plants prevent excess phosphorus from ending up in the water during times of drought.
  • Biodiversity: a breeding wall has been constructed for sand martins, and several marshy areas have been provided for many bird species to safely build nests.
  • Combating heat stress, for both people and animals: a dog beach has been constructed and the park is bordered with several (foot) paths, surrounded by trees.
  • Leisure: several children’s playgrounds have been provided, whose appearance changes along with the water levels. The park features footpaths and a dog beach.
  • Sustainable construction: the park has largely been constructed using electrically driven machines.

Any special circumstances?

The municipality has organised several open evenings during the preparation stage of the preliminary design. During these evenings, residents and other interested parties were shown several designs from which to choose. They opted for the design variant of a park featuring a single island with a watchtower. This became the preliminary design. The municipality requested the tenderers to use this design as their point of departure and invited them to come up with surprises. The most surprising design was the collective one submitted by VIC Landscapes and Hoornstra-Ophof. It featured many additional elements, such as the sand martin wall, the kingfisher wall, the obstacle running track, and the use of electrically driven machinery for the construction.

Lessons to be learned

Involving residents in the project at an early stage garners more support. The residents were enthusiastic and submitted good ideas of their own. This collaboration has resulted in the creation of a real neighbourhood park, catering for every taste.

Contact person

Dyanne van Summeren
Gemeente Harderwijk

Project type
Completed measure
Gemeente Harderwijk, VIC Landscapes, Hoornstra-Ophof, Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe & bewoners
District / neighborhood
Drought, Heat, Waterlogging