About Us
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Park and Recreation

Our Mission 

Helping Des Moines Live Well, Play Hard and Protect the Earth.
 

Overview

The Park and Recreation department is responsible for the management of 76 parks across Des Moines. Besides the special features found in some of the signature parks (Ewing, Union, Greenwood, Gray’s Lake and Pappajohn Sculpture Park), patrons can enjoy a variety of amenities throughout our park system such as basketball courts, BMX track, boat and bicycle rentals, disc golf courses, enclosed and open-air shelters, equipment rental and concessions, horseshoe courts, ice skating rinks, nature trails, picnic areas with tables and grills, playgrounds, ponds and fishing, sledding hills, soap box derby track, soccer and softball fields, tennis and volleyball courts, water-play features, skateboard park, dog parks and more.


Signature Park

Gray’s Lake Park is the city’s best-known and most-visited recreation area. The park has unique qualities and features that prove to be popular regardless of the season or time of day. The iconic 1,400-foot-long Kruidenier Trail Pedestrian Bridge over the lake is the park’s most distinguishing feature. Even more dramatic at night, the bridge comes to life as a rainbow of color lights up its16-foot-wide pathway and reflects off the dichroic glass panel railings. The 1.9-mile walk around Gray’s Lake is known as “doing the loop”; for some residents, it is a daily ritual that even prairie grass burns, trail repairs and flooding won’t interrupt.


Community Centers

Des Moines has two multi-use community centers located on opposite sides of the city to better serve residents. Both community centers provide congregate meal sites for seniors ages 60 and over, as well as warming and/or cooling centers during inclement weather. Both facilities also host a number of Camp Fire, AA and neighborhood meetings throughout the year, as well as numerous youth and adult league sports events.

 

Staff & Service Contacts

Park and Recreation staff consists of 80 full-time and over 200 seasonal employees.
 
Our administration office is located at 1551 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, IA 50317
(515) 237-1386.

 

Parks Management Contacts

 

Ben Page Ben Page
Park and Recreation Director 
(515) 237-1453
Email
   
Richard Brown Richard Brown
Park and Recreation Assistant Director
(515) 248-6356
Email
   
Kevin Moran Kevin Moran
Senior Park Planner
(515) 248-6357
Email
   
Ron Ward Ron Ward
Park Manager
515-248-6328
Email 
   
   

 

Administrative Staff Contacts

 

Rebecca Linhart Rebecca Linhart
Executive Administrative Assistant 
(515) 237-1403
Email
   
Jen Fletcher Jen Fletcher
Marketing Supervisor & Media Contact
(515) 422-0176
Email