• Current Projects
  • Completed Projects
  • Future Plans


We were thrilled that 40 local artists participated in the contest. With over 64 pieces of artwork submitted, our panel's selection process was challenging. The review panel included Parks and Rec employees and the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation board members. As a final result, eight pieces of artwork were selected as contest winners and will be on display within the Bike Trail Art Corridors Project.

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Beaverdale Park Master Plan

The development of the Beaverdale Park Master Plan Concept has been a community and focus group-driven effort to renovate the existing 24.8-acre park in the heart of Beaverdale. To develop the master plan concept, the Parks and Recreation Planning Division focused on public input/community engagement and a thorough analysis of the park's existing conditions. More Info


Des Moines Parks and Recreation is excited to announce that we have been selected to receive a Public Art Grant from Bravo Greater Des Moines. This grant funding will support a work that adds to the City’s growing public art collection via art corridors installed along the Central Iowa Trail system within Des Moines. This nationally recognized trail system continues to be among the most popular free and easily accessible amenities available city-wide, thus providing everyone an opportunity to experience these installations. The corridors will feature local art and create unique destination areas that trail users will view from both directions of travel.  The concept was developed by the Des Moines Parks and Recreation planning team and each corridor will be finalized with images and graphics by local artists and graphic designers.   

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Birdland Park and Marina Master Plan

The Birdland Park and Marina Master Plan calls for $54.4 million in construction improvements spread across 5 major project phases to implement the inclusive and visionary plan that was developed through the master planning process, then adopted by the Parks and Recreation Board on February 23, 2021, and City Council on March 22, 2021.  The development of the proposed master plan was a community and stakeholder-driven effort which leveraged input from an estimated 200+ attendees across three public meetings and 350+ follow-up survey responses. The project Advisory Committee which provided additional direction to the consulting team led by SmithGroup included 23 individuals representing 18 unique interest groups, thus representing a broad cross-section of the community.

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Cheatom Park Site Plan Update

In late 2021, the Parks and Recreation Department has held a series of community engagement opportunities to begin discussions on how to improve Cheatom Park.  The preliminary findings from this outreach effort are outlined on this project page.  Additional site inventory and analysis efforts will take place throughout 2022 to establish a foundation for proposed improvements.  

Once the analysis work is complete, the Parks and Recreation Department will re-engage with the community to continue the Site Plan Update process with design concepts on park enhancements such as the playground, shelter improvements, parking, recreation opportunities, cultural/historic interpretive signage, and vegetation.

Phase 1 of the planned construction improvements are currently planned to occur in FY 2023.
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Chesterfield Park Masterplan Improvements

Chesterfield Park Masterplan Improvements is a 1.6million dollar improvement plan to Chesterfield Park. The improvements will include but are not limited to, a splash pad, playground, unprogrammed open lawn space, a walking loop, an open-air shelter, restroom renovations, a basketball court, permanent table tennis, and a futsal court.

Construction starts in summer 2022 and is scheduled to wrap up in Fall 2023. The Parks and Recreation Department is looking forward to introducing these new improvements to a well-deserved community. The last improvements to Chesterfield Park were in the 1970s.
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Cohen Park

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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Des Moines Trails: E911 Signage and Trail Identities

The Parks and Recreation Department is partnering up with the Friends of Des Moines Parks and Project 7, a graphic design company, to develop and upgrade the E911 signage for the City of Des Moines Trail System. Over the past 2 and a half years this project has been in development to help with the current issues the City's E911 signage has. The new signage will provide day-to-day use information like the name of the trail, mile marker, and city jurisdiction while retaining vital information for emergency situations like the USNG(United States National Grid) number. This helps 1st responders quickly respond to emergency situations on the trail system. More Info

Drake Shelter Renovation

This historic WPA-era shelter in Drake Park is currently under renovation to become a four-season enclosed rental shelter.  The shelter, originally constructed in 1934 -35 was the changing house to the former wading pool.  The structure housed the men's and women's locker rooms and the pool attendant equipment room.  The shelter was modified in the 1980s to more modern restrooms and converted to an open-air shelter.  This renovation project will include a small addition to the west of the structure that will move the men's and women's restrooms and a single unisex restroom out of the footprint of the original structure making way for seating for 45 people.  The renovated shelter will be fully enclosed, heated, and cooled for year-round rentals. More Info

Evelyn K. Davis Park Basketball Court Renovation

Due to the age of existing paving, surface cracking, and low spots within the courts, the planning division determined that both courts will need complete removal and renovation instead of a typical surface repair.  This information allowed the planning division the opportunity to analyze the space and courts holistically. As a result, the planning team developed a concept that improves the location of courts, improves accessibility to courts and the surrounding park amenities, increases the space between the courts, expands the area around courts for seating opportunities and proper circulation. The concept will relocate the existing court lighting and reuse the basketball hoop arms. In addition, to avoid hauling off existing material, the concept developed will create landforms with excavated material for additional seating.

The proposed concept will create a court system that will be a destination area for the King-Irving Neighborhood, park visitors, existing programming, day-to-day pickup games, and special events within Evelyn K. Davis Park. The proposed renovation is estimated to begin construction late fall of 2022.
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  • Current Projects

Evergreen Park Shelter and Playground

Evergreen Park has some planned improvements for 2022 and 2023.
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  • Completed Projects

MacRae Hillside Stabilization

On the north side of MacRae Park,  the slope under the EMC OVerlook down to Thomas Beck Road was damaged by a landslide.  The landslide has become increasingly more severe over the past year and has put the support footing of the EMC Overlook at risk.  The project will construct new retaining walls and drainage improvements to stabilize the slope. More Info

MacRae Park

The MacRae Park Phase 3 Improvements will culminate the Parks and Recreation Department's four year and $2.75 million dollar initiative to renovate MacRae Park. Once completed the park will serve as the gateway to the southwest ninth corridor.

Phase 3 improvements include approximately a half-mile of new trail construction, a pedestrian bridge, a boardwalk over the pond, fishing improvements, an open-air shelter, a custom nature playscape, and a half-mile of park road reconstruction with storm sewer and parking improvements. The project is planned for 2021 and 2022 construction. Phase 3 is estimated to cost $3.1 million dollars.

If you would like to make a contribution towards the improvements to MacRae Park, visit the Friends of Des Moines Park s page and click the donate button.

 MacRae Park Phase 3 Improvements in the news

The new park trail bridge was set in MacRae Park in November of 2021.  See the video link below to watch the bridge go in.  You will have to wait until the fall of 2022 to walk across it due to the ongoing construction project.  

MacRae Park trail bridge installation

Follow the link below to see MacRae Park Phase 3 progress photos.

MacRae Park Phase 3 Progress

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McHenry Park Improvements

The Parks and Recreation Department is currently working towards selecting the new style of playground equipment and proposing an experiential structure at McHenry Park. 
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North Side Community Recreation Center (Grubb YMCA)

The City of Des Moines invites your participation in a series of community meetings designed to gather input as we embark upon the first phase of planning for the new North Side Community Recreation Center (Grubb YMCA). More Info
  • Completed Projects

Riverview Park

Riverview is a three-phase Park renovation project that began in 2014 with a public-private partnership between the City of Des Moines and the Parks Area Foundation. The project is currently on the third of three phases and is due to open Spring of 2021. More Info

Stone Park Site Plan Update

Stone Park will be getting two new amenities in 2022: new community gardens and a full-size futsal court. The Parks and Recreation Department is taking a broader look at the park layout and amenities to better understand how these two additions can create synergies for future planned improvements. More Info
  • Completed Projects

Weeks Middle School Park

Weeks Middle School Park is a new park on the campus of Weeks Middle School.  The project is the result of a partnership between the Parks and Recreation Department and the Des Moines Independent School District. More Info