• Fri March 04 2016
  • Posted Mar 4, 2016
The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Annual Report Released their annual report to the community

About the Department:


The Parks Division is responsible for maintaining all the facilities and grounds within the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department. This includes all park buildings, playgrounds, sport courts, pools and aquatic centers, wading pools, spraygrounds, mowed turf, prairie areas, woodlands, litter and trash removal, and snow removal. Also included are trails, both paved and nature, municipal cemeteries, landscaped areas, flowerbeds, trees and the city greenhouse. Additionally, the Parks Division maintains municipal buildings for Police, Public Works, Fleet Services, City Hall, Armory and the Municipal Service Center.

Planning and Development

Park Improvement Planning Division plans, budgets, and implements improvement projects that facilitate safe use of parks, recreation and trail facilities while creating inviting spaces for the use and enjoyment by visitors and citizens of Des Moines to Live Well, Play Hard and Protect the Earth. The function of the Park Improvement Planning Division is to manage the Park Improvement section of the City’s Capital Improvement Program by supervising and implementing construction and planning projects. This is accomplished by the staff functioning with the knowledge and expertise in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and engineering.


Des Moines Recreation strives to create experiences that appeal to the widest variety of residents. Des Moines Recreation looks to offer activities that enhance what exists but is always seeking to showcases sports, aquatics, volunteer opportunities, and the natural environment in ways they have not been seen before. We aspire to serve not only our regular participants but we look to create excitement for first time users as well. Des Moines Recreation offers a wide range of programs to match people’s diverse interests, using our top rate facilities conveniently located for all who participate. Des Moines Recreation is focused on excellence in leisure activities as part of a larger commitment to health, wellness, and the overall betterment of people’s lives.


The administration division is responsible for the overall operation and management of the parks and recreation department. This includes the front line customer service over the phones, online and in person at the Richard A. Clark Municipal Service Center and the marketing and promotion of department facilities and programs. We are also responsible for the safety of the department’s permanent and seasonal team members while ensuring a fun and safe environment for the park and open space system’s users. The administration division is also responsible for managing the department’s operating budgets and creating partnerships with other organizations and being a direct liaison to the Friends of Des Moines Parks

What is in store for 2016?

2015 was another great year for the Des Moines Parks And Recreation. We are excited for what 2016 will bring, as we continue to move foward. Below is a list of projects our team will be working on in the coming year:

  • Renovation of the Neal Smith Trail from Riverview Park north to the city limits

  • Installation of a gravel trail connection from the Inter-Urban Bridge to Riverview Park

  • Rehabilitation of the SW 5th Street (Jackson Avenue) Bridge

  • Construction of a trail connection from Birdland Marina to Ding Darling Shelter House

  • Remodeling of the MacRae Park Shelter House

  • Completion of the Greenwood Falls sprayground at Greenwood Park

  • Stage construction at Riverview Park

  • Construction of Drake Rowing Boathouse at Prospect Park

  • Community Center enhancements at Pioneer Columbus and Four Mile

  • Exterior restoration of the Glendale Abbey

  • Construction of new roads in Pioneer Park

  • Installation of High Ropes Course at Ewing Park

  • Becky Zallek Disc Golf Course at Prospect Park

  • Des Moines Police Boxing Club moving to Pioneer Columbus Community Center

  • Spring youth soccer program

  • Refurbishing of slides at pools and aquatic facilities

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