About Us

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

Together we support our 76 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 76 parks, 88 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.


Fostering an equity-based culture built to encourage wellness and full utilization of outdoor recreation to everyone. We want parks and trails to be a haven for all. Our vision of equity is that all barriers to full use and enjoyment of parks, trails, programming and events in our community are removed and prevented. We recognize that historical and current policies and practices have created these barriers and are intentional in focusing on enhancing quality of life and healthy recreation opportunities for every single resident in our community. The Friends of Des Moines Parks is committed to equity and inclusion through our mission, our team members, our partners, and the projects and programs we support.


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  • 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

  • 76 parks, over 4,000 acres of park and open space, 88 miles of trails, and municipal facilities such as aquatic centers, community centers and civic attractions

2022 Board Members




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 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

I say it over and over, Des Moines is the best city in America.  And our trails, parks and outdoor events are a huge reason that statement is true.  In my free time you can find me soaking in the sunshine at Gray's Lake, riding my bike to the nearest brewery, exploring the trails with my dogs or taking advantage of the many programs Des Moines Parks and Rec offers. 




I am an avid cyclist and enjoy the City of Des Moines trails system, dirt trails in the parks, and riding around the City with my family. 

I am Senior Water Resources Engineer at HDR and have a passion for solving problems that involve floods, flooding, water supply, water recreation, and flood risk with computer models!

At large:

John Schmidt
Tami Wingert
Amal Barre
Nate Haggard
Beth Pargulski
Erin Muir
Chris Lightfoot
Allison Hay
Dylan Lampe
Andrea Boulton
Adam Ibrahim

Ex Officio and Honorary Members:

Jane Hein
Cynde Fanter

Liz Neumann

Dr. Michael Eberle*
Janis Ruan
Carl Voss
*Indicates deceased members


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.

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Administrative Assistant


I love summer days, taking my sons to playgrounds & splash pads. Together with my husband, we enjoy traveling,  biking on the trails and drinking craft beer!