The Friends of the Parks is dedicating their funds to the following projects.  If you have questions about a certain project, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Executive Director, Sarah at



Swim Lessons

Since 2007 we have proudly provided swim lesson scholarships to low-income and English-Language Learner families. The program has expanded every year seeing increased participation and need. Recently the program expanded to include scholarships for youth sports participation. For $25 you can help a child learn to swim or be part of a team.

Special thanks to Principal Financial, Polk County Supervisors, and Variety The Children’s Charity for contributing a combined $35,810 in financial support of these programs!  Their generous support provided updated equipment, swim lesson instruction and youth sports scholarships to thousand's of families.


The swim lesson program served 2,969 Des Moines children in 2019, of those 1,236 received scholarships through this support. The Friends were proud to support Des Moines families in need.


Union Park Rocket Slide

Originally part of Miracle’s Astro City line,
Union Park’s Rocket Slide has been an icon
of fun for decades! It is this generations
turn to keep the Rocket Slide soaring for future generations to enjoy.  The updates include: minor repairs throughout the slide, restoration to the historically accurate
paint scheme, replacement of missing pieces and the addition of a slide safety hood. 


Evelyn Davis Park serves over 6,000 neighbors and many more visitors with activities like Summer City Hoops League (a partnership with DM Police Dept), Futsal Tournaments, Youth Programs, and pick up games.  The park has become a central community gathering place because of it's great amenities.  Visitors can enjoy charcoal grills, open shelters and picnic areas, baseball field, inclusive playground  equipment, plenty of open space and a spray ground.  

The basketball courts see heavy use throughout the year for special events and programs and have not been resurfaced since 2013.  The Friends are excited to support this much needed improvement, a true slam dunk for the neighborhood!

Evelyn Davis Park


CDM Preferred Layout Choice-1.jpg

The E-911 Marker Project will provide important information for users along the trails. These signs will provide emergency location information and an E-911 location for emergency responders to quickly find any person in need of assistance on our trail system. Along with providing essential emergency information, unique identities will be created for our major trail segments like Neal Smith Trail and Bill Riley Trail, to help create a personal graphic for each trail that signifies the trail segment. The Project will be installed in two phases. Phase one will focus on essential information like E-911 location, name of trail, jurisdiction, and mile markers. The second phase will add the personal identity marking for the trail segments.

Past Projects - Coming Soon