• Register Now!

    The Mayor's Annual Ride and Run will be held on April 18, with all proceeds benefiting the restoration of the Jackson Street Bridge. The run starts at 8 a.m. with the ride following at 10 am. Registration is $25 for adults and $5 for ages 5-18. New this year, purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a $2000 voucher towards the purchase of Giant brand bikes at Bike World.

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  • Barney Blast Registration Ends March 8

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce the inaugural Blarney Blast tournament to be held March 14-15 at the Greater Des Moines Softball Complex. Registration ends March 8 for the double elimination men’s and coed tournament and it will cost each team $105 to participate.

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  • Imagination Playschool

    Every Wednesday and Friday bring your kids to participate in Imagination Playschool. Cost is only $2.50/child for hours of fun! Participants can play with the imagination playground equipment, big wheels, kitchen play station, climbing wall & more! Participants must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

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  • Banana Splits Gymnastics

    Banana Splits is for children ages 3 and older. Participants learn how to be a better listener, improve motor skills and concentration. Kids can play with a balance beam, climbing wall, tumbling mats, agility equipment, Imagination Playground equipment & more. Cost is only $2.50/child for hours of fun!

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  • Seasonal Employment Opportunities

    Des Moines Parks and Recreation offers many different seasonal employment opportunities in three divisions: Aquatics, Parks/Buildings and Recreation. To view all current openings please click the link below.

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  • Lifeguard

    For those 15 and up, this three day class will train participants in the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. Class will be held at Lincoln High School 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $100 per person.

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  • Don't Miss Out on Kickball Season

    This recreational adult coed league begins play in ay with game times from 6:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. each Wednesday. Coed teams field ten players (5 men/5 women) ages 18 and over and play a 7-game schedule, one game a week, at the Greater Des Moines Softball Complex (4980 NE 46th Street).

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  • Pee Wee Oudoor Soccer Registration

    This program introduces children to team sports, teammates and game situations while learning the basics of soccer in a fun atmosphere. Registration for Coed Pee Wee Outdoor Soccer is now open through March 20. Cost is $40 per child for a 6-week schedule. Click the link below for more info.

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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 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’ 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