About Us

We strive to preserve, protect, improve, and promote the use of Des Moines parks.

Together we support our 75 Des Moines parks.

The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department plays a powerful role in creating and sustaining a healthy, vibrant and attractive community for all Des Moines residents and visitors.  The Friends of Des Moines Parks partners with the Parks and Rec to ensure all park and trail users have a positive experience when using park amenities, accessing programs and attending events.  Our 75 parks, 82 miles of trails, community centers, community gardens, aquatic facilities, and various events and programs connect residents to one-another, to their neighborhoods and to their city. Our park and trail system plays a critical role in bolstering the reputation of Des Moines as a premier community for quality of life, raising a family and overall well-being.  To ensure our facilities, playgrounds, trails and attractions can continue serving our community for current and future generations, the Friends need your time and treasure.  Join us.  Become an outsider.  Help us preserve and improve our system for future outsiders.


First established by a group of citizens as The Des Moines Park and Recreation Foundation in 1993, the Friends of Des Moines Parks is a nonprofit 501c3 organization with a mission to preserve, protect, improve, and promote the use of Des Moines’ parks, greenways, and recreational programs for the benefit of all neighborhoods, residents, and visitors.


  • Programs that focus on urban conservation, environmental education, athletic instruction, sports tourism, neighborhood beautification, water recreation, volunteerism and stewardship

  • Special events to attract diverse, multi-generational audiences for leisure, educational and recreational purposes

  • 75 parks, over 4,000 acres of park and open space, 82 miles of trails, and municipal facilities such as aquatic centers, community centers and civic attractions

2020 Board Members




My favorite time of year is Christmas time. I have been Santa for the same family in WDM on Christmas eve for over 25 consecutive years. In recent years I've been honored to represent the Des Moines Parks department and their annual celebration that provides toys for over 500 children per year.




I enjoy traveling, hiking, biking, and exploring with my husband, daughter, and pup.  My favorite Des Moines Park is Grays Lake and I love how connected Des Moines is with all the great trails.



Vice President

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. Just being able to be outside; going for a walk, visiting a park or taking advantage of the garden plots. I also enjoy taking advantage of the many concerts, events and activities the community has to offer. 




I am the Founder and President of Twin Forks Trading Company and an avid mountain biker.  I enjoy traveling and exploring the outdoors with my two kids and wife, Kate.

At large:

Teresa Adams-Tomka
Walker McKusick
Chris Lightfoot
Liz Neumann
Laura Smidt
Andy McCoy
Carl Voss
Erin Muir

Ex Officio:

Janis Ruan
Jane Hein
Cynde Fanter
Dr. Michael Eberle


Executive Director


I enjoy hiking, biking, traveling and catching live music with my husband Eric, as well as cooking and attending our three daughter's swim meets, soccer matches and track/cross country meets.

Jess 2019 Condnesed.jpg


Administrative Assistant


I love summer days, taking my sons to playgrounds & splash pads. Together with my husband, we enjoy biking to Des Moins breweris to have a delicious 

craft beer.  

© 2020 by Friends of the Des Moines Parks.