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Upcoming Projects

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The development of the Beaverdale Park Master Plan Concept has been a community and focus group-driven effort to renovate the existing 24.8-acre park in the heart of Beaverdale. To develop the master plan concept, the Parks and Recreation Planning Division focused on public input/community engagement and a thorough analysis of the park's existing conditions. Read about the Beaverdale Park Master Plan Concept HERE.  Donate

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Upcoming project that will bring a brand new amenity to the DM Park system. This urban park will feature a shade structure, unique playground equipment, planters and a dedicated pedestrian and bike lane. Donate

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The Friends of Des Moines Parks is seeking local partners to help bring new and exciting types of outdoor recreation to Cohen Park near Downtown Des Moines. The proposed park amenities include 12-foot tall outdoor bouldering and climbing walls along with an interactive ball wall called Sutu. Your support will help provide unique recreation opportunities that typically require a gym membership or fee-for-use at a private organization - making their free, public use critical in the downtown urban core. More information about this exciting park renovation can be found HEREDonate

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The Friends of Des Moines Parks is seeking local partners to help support and expand upon the newly planned North Side Community Recreation Center and Park located at the current Grubb YMCA and Brian Melton Field site. This project has just finished up with a comprehensive, inclusive, and transparent planning process including extensive community engagement to ensure an equitable process. The City of Des Moines has already committed $12 million towards the building and is hoping to raise much more to provide the best community recreation center possible. To learn more about the planning and engagement process, please visit the project page HERE.


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Evelyn K. Davis Park serves over 6,000 neighbors and many more visitors with activities & wide range of amenities. The park is home to the Summer City Hoops League, Futsal Tournaments, Youth Programs, pick up games, open shelters, baseball field, inclusive playground  equipment, open space and a spray ground.  The basketball courts see heavy use throughout the year and have not been resurfaced since 2013.  The Friends are excited to support this much needed improvement! Read more HERE


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Birdland Park 

The Birdland Park and Marina Master Plan calls for $54.4 million in construction improvements spread across 5 major project phases to implement the inclusive and visionary plan that was developed through the master planning process, then adopted by the Parks and Recreation Board on February 23, 2021, and City Council on March 22, 2021.  Read More   Donate

Ongoing Projects


Since 2007 the Friends have proudly provided swim lesson scholarships to underserved families and English-Language Learners in the community. The program continues to grow and is experiencing greater participation and need every year. Two programs, YRSP and GRASP, offer qualifying families access to swim lessons and youth sports for just $5 per season. For $25 you can provide a scholarship for a child to learn how to swim or be part of a recreational sports team.

Special thanks to our longtime partner, Variety - The Children’s Charity for their ongoing support of the learn-to-swim initiative.  Their generous gift provided updated equipment and swim lesson instructions to over 800 children in Des Moines during the 2021 aquatic season.


Become a Swimmer! 


Wreaths Across America – Matching your support!


Friends of Des Moines Parks is supporting Wreaths Across America and we want to invite you to join us.  Many of the veterans buried in Woodland have not been remembered in over 100 years.  Sponsor wreaths will be placed at Woodland Cemetery on December 2022. For every two wreaths you sponsor, a third wreath is placed by matching support.  Consider $30 to place three wreaths before the matching deadline of November 30.  Our goal is to place 1,000 wreaths for veterans buried at Woodland Cemetery. 

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Several years ago, Des Moines Park and Recreation introduced the Youth Recreational Scholarship Program (YRSP), in partnership with Des Moines Public Schools, which allows students to receive swim lessons and/or youth sport experiences for only $5.

The most recent commitment made by our organization has been to provide every child participating in an athletic program with a ball specific to that sport at no cost to their family.

This innovative opportunity will allow youth to enjoy the activity at their local park or community center in season or out.

A benefit of sponsorship includes your company logo or name on the sports ball selected. For more information, please contact us

Current Projects

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Funding allocated for basketball court and new playground slated for 2023 completion.


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

To see a full list of all the exciting things going on in the Des Moines Parks, click HERE.


Past Projects

The Friends of the Parks is proud to share completed past projects where we dedicated our

donated funds and volunteer time.   View our past projects HERE.

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