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About Us

About Us

Better Parks for a Brighter Community

The Friends of Des Moines Parks bridges the gap between public funding and the costs to deliver one of the premier park systems in the country to the Des Moines community. As budgets and resources are increasingly stretched to support Des Moines’ park system, public funding often falls short of what's needed to keep our parks and programs thriving. 


We collaborate closely with the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department, the 2022 NRPA Gold Medal Winner for excellence in long-range planning, fiscal and resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services. As a private 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, we get to support the amazing and innovative work in progress while retaining the flexibility of an independent organization governed by a non-political volunteer Board. This public-private partnership allows us to adapt quickly to support and improve our cherished public spaces and programs in ways that would otherwise not be possible. 

Parks and Recreation Resources

Check out these Parks & Recreation resources to learn more about the parks and recreation vision, projects and innovations that help create a brighter future for Des Moines through parks:


  • The Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan, LiveDSM – This comprehensive vision and plan, developed in 2019, outlines how Des Moines will transform parks and recreation from a series of distinct outdoor spaces scattered throughout the metro to a system that meets residents where they live and aims to elevate their everyday quality of life.

  • Des Moines Parks and Recreation 2023 Annual Report  – This report summarizes all that happened in 2023 and  includes a list of all the parks amenities and programs that are supported for just $169 a year in property taxes.

  • Parks & Recreation Projects – Check out current and future projects and plans for Des Moines park system.

Board Members

Andy McCoy



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!

Dylan Lampe


Vice President

I enjoy watching and playing sports. On Saturdays in the Fall you can find me in Iowa City cheering on the Hawks or glued to the Chiefs games on Sundays. I also enjoy brewery hopping on our great trails, live music, most any body of water, and going on travel adventures with my partner and our dog. My day job is with F&G where I lead an operations team.

Scott Nevitt



I absolutely love our trails around the DSM area, so you will find me either training or leisure riding during the spring and summer months while preparing for Ragbrai which is a perfect complement to my love for the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Fair! I  love mentoring, coaching, and helping others achieve their performance goals.

Allison Hay



I joined the Friends board after learning about the Every Kid Gets a Ball program and all the wonderful work this group does to support our community. During the week I work on the marketing team at an insurance company in downtown Des Moines and in my spare time I enjoy traveling and spoiling my niece and nephews. 

At Large

Ex Officio and Honorary Members

Jane Hein
Cynde Fanter

Liz Neumann

Dr. Michael Eberle
Janis Ruan
Carl Voss


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.

Jenna Bates


Accounting Director

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.

Jess 2019 Condnesed.jpg


Administrative Assistant

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

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