• Share your photos and win!

    Each day in July, a different "Photospot" will be featured in the park system. Participants are asked share their photos through Facebook Twitter, Instagram or Email. Make sure to use the hashtag #dmphotospot. Anyone who submits a photo will receive a prize! Click below for the calendar.

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    Photospot Calendar

  • STAR Party

    The Perseids meteor shower has been visible for more than 2,000 years. This year the Moon will be in the way and lower the viewing ability, so instead we are going to focus on the Moon and still try to see the showers. The action in the sky doesn't start until later so join us at 6:00pm for tons of fun activities.

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    More Info

  • 20 Free Things to do in Des Moines this Summer

    Looking to have some fun in Des Moines this summer without spending too much money? Check out the complete list that Des Moines Parks and Recreation has put together by clicking the link below.

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    20 Free Things

  • Youth Flag Football Registration

    Register your child for Youth Flag Football. Two age groups are offered, children grades 1-2 and grades 3-4. Cost is $50 per child or $500 per team, which includes a game jersey to keep as well as all other equipment provided. For more information click the link below.

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    Sign Up Now!

  • 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. League Play will begin September 3. Register your team by August 8.

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    More Info & Registration

  • Adult Fall Softball Registration

    Register now for men's and coed slow-pitch adult (ages 18+) fall softball leagues. Teams of 15 participants will play a 7-game schedule starting September 2 at various Des Moines locations. Cost is $190 per team.

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    More Info & Registration

  • Free Flicks

    Free Flicks is a summer-long series of outdoor movie showings throughout the Des Moines area from June 5 through September4. The films will be shown on a 25-foot portable screen and will begin after sunset around 9:00 p.m. Admission is free, blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged.

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    More Info

  • Unwined

    Come relax and unwind a little at Unwined from 5:30 - 8:30pm, every Friday. Enjoy free samples from Jasper Winery and Madhouse Brewing Co. There will also be food for purchase and live music. All ages are welcome to attend this FREE event. New in 2014 Unwined will be held at Gray's Lake AND the Hub Spot (215 Water St.)

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    More Info

  • Adult Fall Kickball Registration

    Enjoy healthy recreation and get a 'kick' from revisiting a long time favorite game from your past in our Adult Kickball League. Register your team online by August 10. Cost is $190 per team (5 men/5 women, ages 18+). League play will begin September 3. For more information click the link below.

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    Register Here

  • 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

  • Yoga in the Park

    Yoga in the Park, presented by Des Moines Parks and Recreation and UnityPoint Health - Des Moines is back again . We invite you to enjoy your Saturday mornings by participating in a free weekly yoga session at Gray's Lake. The class will be from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and will be held every Saturday beginning June 7 through September 27.

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    Instructor List

  • Adult Flag Football Registration

    Register now for Adult (ages 18+) Flag Football leagues. Cost is $200 per team (15 participants) for a 7-game schedule starting September 2, 2014. Games are played Chesterfield Park (E. 26th and Scott).

    Sign up by August 18

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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