• 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 the benefits of prairie plants

Urban Environmental Education

 

Connecting 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