• Superhero and Princess 5K & Kids Fun Run!

    The Superhero and Princess 5K & Kids Fun Run on October 18 will definitely bring out your inner superhero! Racers are encouraged to run, walk or fly in their favorite action hero or princess costume. Sign up for the 5K before October 6 for just $25. Fees for the Kids Fun Run is just $10 per child (ages 3-12).

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  • Youth Basketball Registration Extended!

    Registration has been extended for our new Youth Basketball League, developed in partnership with Des Moines Public Schools and sponsored by Scheels. Separate leagues are available for boys & girls, each offering divisions for 1st - 7th grades. Cost is $450/team or $50/child. Registration ends October 17.

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  • Take a Walk in the Park

    In conjunction with the Healthiest State Initiative, we invite residents to take a "Walk in the Park" on October 8, starting at 6:00am at Gray's Lake. Participate in the 4th annual Healthiest State Walk. Click the link below to join.

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  • Halloween Hike

    You will love this "Merry not Scary" outdoor walk on the trail at Four Mile Community Center themed Nature's Web. Then join us inside for some spider themed fun, crafts, mini golf and bounce house fun! The first hike begins at 6:30pm and the last will start at 7:20pm. Cost is $2 per person, all ages are welcome. Sign up online for your preferred hike time.

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  • Bags Fall Tournament Main Window

    Bags isn't just for tailgating anymore! Sign up for the Des Moines Bags League Fall Tournament before October 10. Cost is only $10 per team of two adults (ages 18+). Tournament will be held at Bright Grandview Golf Course (inside or outside clubhouse) on November 8.

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  • Book Your Tee Time!

    Every Saturday & Sunday for the remainder of the 2014 golf season, you can play on the area’s first SoccerGolf course at Bright Grandview Golf Course from Noon – 4:00pm. Green fees are $12/person & soccer balls rent for $3 each. Carts are available for an additional fee. Contact Bright Grandview for more info & to book your tee time.

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  • State Flag Football

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation is sponsoring the 2014 Adult State Flag Football Tournament to be held in Des Moines on November 1 & November 2. This double elimination tournament is open to any team currently playing in the State of Iowa. Each team must provide their own equipment. Cost is $160/team. Registration closes Oct. 24 at 5pm.

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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