Cohen Park

20220408 Cohen Bouldering Rendering - Copy
eadoll@dmgov.org 1000 Scott Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
The Friends of Des Moines Parks is seeking donations to help bring new and exciting types of outdoor recreation to Cohen Park near Downtown Des Moines. To learn more please visit:  GIVEdsm
7/18/2022 UPDATE!!!
A majority of the Cohen Park project will move forward with construction next year. However, we currently are not able to fully fund the third climbing boulder and need your help! We are pleased to announce that the non-profit Friends of Des Moines Parks Foundation has partnered with the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines to host a project fundraising page on GIVEDSM.  Donations over a nominal amount will receive recognition through on-site permanent signage.

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PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The proposed Cohen Park Site Renovation program includes new and exciting active recreation amenities to activate the currently underutilized park space. Proposed new amenities include a half basketball court, a high-end bouldering area, an interactive ball wall called Sutu, various site furnishings, and cultural and historical signage in conjunction with the relocated water trough. The Sutu Wall and bouldering area are brand new amenities to be added to our park system and will be the first of their kind in the State of Iowa. These two types of features typically require a gym membership or fee for use at a private organization - making their free, public use critical in the downtown urban core.

*Park Improvements and project timeline are dependent upon Council approval, available budget, and award of the bid within the allocated budget.  During the current supply chain issues, material costs increases, and fabrication delays, planned park improvements and estimated timelines can and will be impacted.

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Graphic renderings showing the proposed bouldering walls and interactive Sutu wall at Cohen Park.

Example Bouldering Facility with Similar Intent
Teton Bouldering Park copy

Youtube Video of Interactive Sutu Wall



Materials Presented at the Historic East Village Neighborhood Meeting on November 15th, 2021
Cohen Park's current primary program is for stormwater detention and passive recreation. Located directly on the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Trail, Cohen Park does include 600 linear feet of 8-ft wide recreation trail connecting the MLK Trail with a historic water trough. The historic water trough located in Cohen Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and is frequently used by the local community as a source of history, pride, and sustenance. The water trough is currently located in the public right-of-way and is proposed to be relocated out of the right-of-way in a more accessible and safe location.

These new amenities will be built with the intent to provide additional opportunities for safe, health-promoting spaces where the community can come together to recreate and build memories. Cohen Park has great access from nearby neighborhoods being located directly on the MLK Trail. Its location from the Historic East Village is also walkable and with the new Market District initiatives, Cohen Park will be a great asset for residents who live, work, and play in the downtown area. Interpretive signage located in conjunction with the historic water trough will provide rich, attractive information to build upon community history and culture.

20211115 HEV Neighborhood Presentation Page 001

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Project Timeline*

Project Design:  Fall, 2021 - Spring, 2022
Project Bidding:  Summer, 2022
Project Construction: Fall, 2022 - Fall, 2023

*Park Improvements and project timeline are dependent upon Council approval, available budget, and award of the bid within the allocated budget.  During the current supply chain issues, material costs increases, and fabrication delays, planned park improvements and estimated timelines can and will be impacted.


Previously Completed Improvements

The integrated park and floodwater improvements are the outcomes of a collaboration between the Public Works Department's Water Division and the Parks and Recreation Department. Cohen Park’s large central basin provides stormwater storage. The basin area of the park is designed to fill with stormwater during high-volume rain events to alleviate flooding and provide stormwater capacity relief. The park basin is designed to slowly draw down and drain following storm events. Sustainable green infrastructure and habitat improvement were integrated into the design of the park’s basin to provide both ecological and aesthetic value to the park and to provide simple stormwater filtration. Additional Cohen Park improvements will be added in multiple phases to create an integrated park and green infrastructure facility to aid in stormwater control and capacity relief. Phase one of Cohen Park improvements included the flood control and green infrastructure elements, a monument sign identifying the park, native prairie seeding to improve habitat and water quality, as well as a paved walking loop that circumnavigates Cohen Park.

  • Completed Improvements:
    • Stormwater Control Structures and Basin
    • Park Monument Sign
    • Walking Loop
    • Native Prairie Seeding
    • Street Tree Plantings
  • Future Phases:
    • Open Air Shelter
    • Seating Area
    • Side Path Trail to Crivaro Park

Additional Considerations for Planned Improvements
  • Collaboration w/Forestry
  • Birding Habitat Plantings
  • Collaboration w/Audubon Society
  • Prairie Maintenance Mowing