Historic Des Moines Park To Receive Final Phase of Improvements

Press Release

Des Moines, Iowa — Monday, March 8, 2021 — A 100-year-old park on Des Moines’ southside received approval from the Des Moines City Council tonight to complete the third phase of a years-long improvement project.

Phase 3 of the MacRae Park renovations is set to change the landscape of the park by completing a pedestrian and bike-friendly loop of the park, adding a boardwalk feature over the park’s pond and a natural playscape with water features just west of the pond. Cost of the project is estimated at $2.7 million, to bring sweeping changes to the century-old Des Moines landmark.

"I’m personally excited because this is key gateway to the southside of Des Moines,” Ward 3 City Councilman Josh Mandelbaum said. “As a parent, these are the types of features that bring young families to the area and this plan incorporates features that will bring important park accessibility to the area."

The long process of improving one of Des Moines’ oldest parks began over seven years ago with neighborhood meetings and idea sessions.

"We never could have imagined getting to this point without the generosity of many donors,” Des Moines Parks and Recreation Director Ben Page said. “We’re proud to be investing in this historic park so that it can remain a crown jewel of the Des Moines parks system well into the future.”

Page estimates that construction could begin late this spring, pending the bidding process.

Al Setka
Chief Communications Officer, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.city, Facebook and Twitter for more information.