• New Address

    Our administration, maintenance and field staff are now 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.


    New Address Map

  • 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    More Info & Registration

Illustration of bird roosting in a tree at sunriseEnvironmental Project and Education


The Park and Recreation Department has a goal to expand its conservation efforts through Gray’s Lake programming and education that will provide the public with the resources to further their enjoyment of outdoor experiences and knowledge tools to implement their own practices.  The Park serves as a classroom for these efforts through bird watching, nature walks, nature art programs, fishing clinics, plant and wildlife classes, etc.


In January 2004, the Park and Recreation Department began assessing opportunities for native landscaping in our park system. The Urban Prairie Project marked the beginning of an effort to integrate small pockets of native prairie into the landscape of several Des Moines parks, schools, and community green spaces. These Urban Prairies will serve as both educational resources and spaces for repose and relaxation.


Native plants are also being added to the park system in the form of rain gardens, garden-like plantings designed specifically to soak up storm water and reduce run-off. Rain gardens like those found in the city park system can be used in homes, businesses, and schools to help reduce storm water run-off and water pollution in Iowa.


To guide these efforts, the Park and Recreation Department has assembled an Urban Conservation Advisory Committee to the Park Board. The mission of this committee is to promote a park management philosophy that is holistic and ecologically based through policies that direct the planning, design and maintenance of healthy green space in the City of Des Moines toward protection and enhancement of the natural environment.


These changes mark an exciting movement toward a more environmentally friendly Park and Recreation Department. Come out and get involved! 


Urban Forestry Plan

 The City of Des Moines’s urban forest is a significant public asset. Understanding its value and managing it in a manner consistent with other assets is critical to good stewardship. 

 Urban Forestry Plan