• New Address

    Starting the week of August 25, our administration, maintenance and field staff will be housed in the new Municipal Service Center, located at 1551 E Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. All phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. Shelter reservation and program registration will remain available online.

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  • Gray's Lake Access Information

    Preperations for this year's Hy-Vee Triathlon (Aug.30-Aug.31) will affect access to Gray's Lake Park starting Aug. 24. The park, trail and concession stand will remain open. No boat rentals will be allowed during the events. Click the link below to view the schedule of areas impacted.

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    Map of Affected Areas

  • DMBL Registration

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation offers a Fall Bags League for adults ages 18 and older. Cost is $35 per two person team. Games will be played at The Hub Spot (215 Water St.) on Wednesday nights for six weeks. Register your team by September 2.

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    More Info & Registration

  • Doggie Dive

    This is an opportunity for dogs and their owners to celebrate the last day of the pool season. Dogs must be accompanied by their owners at all times.

    Cost is $4 per dog. Regular admission fees apply for all dog owners and family members.

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    More Info

  • Yoga at the Plaza

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation invites you to participate in Yoga at the Plaza (Brenton Skating Plaza - 520 Robert D. Ray Dr.) during your lunch hour. This 45-minute program will be held every Wednesday during July and August and will begin at 11:30 a.m. Remember to bring your yoga mat or towel.

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    More Info

  • Co-Ed Indoor Pee Wee Soccer Registration

    Sign up your child for Co-Ed Indoor Pee Wee Soccer now through September 2. Two age divisions are offered, 3-4 year olds and 5-6 year olds. Cost is only $40 per child for this six week program. Click the link below for more details and to sign up online.

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    More Info & Registration

Illustration of the benefits of prairie plants

Urban Environmental Education

 

Connection You with Nature in the City

 

Reconnect with nature and your family!  Restore yourself and refocus your children by getting outside to enjoy the great outdoors.  Studies have shown that children are smarter, more cooperative, happier and healthier when they have frequent and varied chances to play in the out-of-doors. That’s why the Park and Recreation Department offers educational programs for every age and every season. 
 
Next time you’re at Gray’s Lake, or many of your other city parks, keep your eyes open for new interpretive signage. These signs help visitors to the city parks view and understand natural land management strategies, as well as different aspects of park and lake ecology. In the future, you may be able to access interpretive information with your mobile phone through a podcast while on a park walking tour.
  

Of course, educational programs reach far beyond signs. Thanks to ongoing partnerships with Polk County Conservation and the Department of Natural Resources, the Park and Recreation Department continues to offer popular nature story hours, intriguing pond exploration, creepy insect investigations, informative bird programs and more.

 

Additional outdoor programs sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department also include canoe classes and trips, a camping night at Gray’s Lake, eco-art, nature-based scavenger hunts, and a “how-to” on gardening with native plants.  Visit Parks throughout the year to see what’s coming up in your neighborhood that would interest you, your friends, and your family.

 

Educational Documents

 

 Backyard Conservation and Habitat Creation

Canada Goose Habitat

Herbicide Alphabet Soup

Native Landscaping Resources

Native Species Blooming Periods

Small Urban Landscaping with Native Species