Helping Des Moines Live Well, Play Hard and Protect the Earth.
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 such as, basketball courts, BMX track, boat and bicycle rentals, disc golf, enclosed and open-air shelters, equipment rental and concessions, horseshoe, ice skating, nature trails, picnic areas with tables and grills, playgrounds, ponds and fishing, sledding hills, soap box derby track, soccer fields, softball fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, wading pools, skateboarding, dog parks and more.
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 time of day or season of the year. 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 colors 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.
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, warming and/or cooling centers during inclement weather, and also host a number of Camp Fire, AA, and neighborhood meetings throughout the year. These facilities also host numerous youth and adult league sports throughout the year.