Council Adopts Birdland Park and Marina Master Plan

DES MOINES, IOWA – Monday, March 22, 2021 – Touted as a transformational project for the Des Moines and central Iowa, City Council members tonight unanimously approved the adoption of the Birdland Park and Mariana Master Plan.

The $54 million multi-phased project includes:

  • Ecological restoration (23 acres)
  • Paddling/rowing launches
  • Fishing piers
  • A beach
  • Five shelters
  • Trail expansion to 3.1 miles
  • Triple amount of “play space”
  • Twice number of marina slips
  • Two-story boathouse for outfitter and new Captain Roy’s restaurant/bar

“What we really hope to do with this project is improve the connection between the marina and the Union Park neighborhood and make it easier for all residents to share the river,” said Mayor Frank Cownie.

Parks and Recreation Director Ben Page said the area would become another ‘crown jewel’ in the City’s park system.

“It will bring every type of recreational use to one spot, I can’t think of one other park that will have all the things that this park will have,” he said.

Ward II Councilwoman Linda Westergaard represents the Birdland areas and was instrumental in moving the plan forward.

“It is just another step in the process of making Des Moines better every single day,” she said. “It will reenergize our entire community.”

For more details and videos of the Birdland Park and Marina Master Plan, visit

Benjamin R. Page
Director, Parks and Recreation

About Des Moines Parks and Recreation
Founded in 1892, the Parks and Recreation Department’s mission is “Helping Des Moines Live Well, Play Hard and Protect the Earth.”  Our department is responsible for the management of 76 parks, over 4,000 acres of parkland, 88 miles of trails, seven cemeteries and numerous municipal facilities.  In addition, we offer numerous programs in the areas of sports, urban conservation, environment education, sport instruction, volunteerism, rentals and special events.  For more information on Des Moines Parks and Recreation programs or facilities, visit our website (, Facebook (, Twitter (@desmoinesparks) and Instagram (