FAIRBURY, Neb. — Our Town Fairbury has a variety of places for its citizens to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
Birdwatching is one of the main attractions at Crystal Springs Park, as many varieties of migrating birds have been seen at the park.
"Crystal Springs is kind of a hidden jewel in the Fairbury community," said Collin Bielser, the city administrator. "It's a naturally flowing spring that provides most of the city's water source.”
Inside this 73-acre park are two spring-fed and one man-made pond, and residents say the fishing is also pretty darned good.
"The state stocks it with fish, so we get a lot of avid fisherman down here," Bielser said. “It's very busy and popular on the weekends. The campsites have water and electric hook-ups, so modern convenience for campers these days.”
Bielser says every year they try to do some sort of improvement project that enhances the park in some way.
"This is a fishing dock that was installed a couple of years ago, it's handicap accessible and it was built by a local industry in town, PVI, that does a lot of aluminum manufacturing, so they're great corporate sponsors and it's a nice feature that can be used by all different types of citizens to enjoy the outdoors and fish," he said. "We've done a little waterfall project, something we try to do every winter to make it better.”
The city administrator says Our Town Fairbury is home to 200 acres of park land divided up between three city parks.
"For Fairbury's population, the need is not more parks, but we continue to try to improve the ones we have because there's just an abundance of park lands, which is very unusual for a town our size and it's a great amenity feature of Fairbury,” said Bielser.
Bielser says the legend of Crystal Springs dates back to the early days of Our Town Fairbury.
"My understanding is back in the ‘20s and ‘30s is when the water started coming to the city from this location, and it was always a park since back then and the original pool was on this site. People supposedly ice skated on the ponds, it was the place to be," Bielser said.
And it appears that it still is. Bielser said a variety of fish can be caught at Crystal Lake, from large-mouth bass and catfish to blue gill and trout.