OUR PROJECTS

We are committed to being a community advocate for the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department and to provide funding for its programs and capital needs. In 2016, we contributed more than $100,000 to parks facilities and programs. With your help, we can do more!

NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS

The Friends of Des Moines Parks have been actively involved with the revitalization of the several neighborhood parks.

Des Moines Neighborhood park improvements

SWIM LESSONS

Providing swim lesson scholarships for low-income and English-language learner kids has expanded every year, along with the need.

Des Moines swimmers

INCLUSIVE PARK AMENITIES

Friends of Des Moines Parks provided the funding for a  wheelchair-accessible dock for canoes and kayaks   installed at Gray's Lake.

Des Moines inclusive park amenities

EWING PARK REVITALIZATION

Friends spearheaded the drive to revitalize the 30-acre  Ewing Park Lilac Arboretum. There are more than 200 lilac varieties in the collection.

Ewing Park Lilac Arboretum

SHELTER-HOUSE UPDATES

Recently updated Greenwood and MacRae Park shelters preserve history while adding restrooms and an enclosed space.

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YOGA IN THE PARK

The Friends has sponsored this immensely popular free Saturday morning program since 2009. In 2018, the program kicks off at Gray's Lake Park on June 2.

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ENLIVENING PARK HISTORY

Another way Friends has contributed: Beautiful, permanent signage preserve the history of Evelyn Davis, McHenry, and Sargent parks.

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PARK BENCHES

Park benches provide attractive memorials and honor recognition for many families.

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FREE FLICKS

In 2018, UnityPoint Health-Des Moines is the lead sponsor for 13 free family-friendly outdoor movie events to be held primarily in neighborhood parks.

FreeFlicks

EARTH DAY TRASH BASH

Friends co-sponsor the annual Earth Day Trash Bash—Iowa's largest Earth Day event—that beautifies neighborhoods. Join us Friday, April 20.

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In 2016 we supported the following projects:

Lilac Sunday at Ewing Park
Earth Day Trash Bash
Cemetery monument restoration
25 kits for monarch butterfly monitoring
Father-Daughter Dance sponsor
Stand-up paddle boards
Enhanced fitness area at Pioneer Columbus Community Center
Scholarship swim lessons for numerous metro youth
Provided uniforms for 1,000 + youth in the Park & Recreation activities
Ewing Park nature/single-track trails

Please join us today in supporting Des Moines’ parks, trails, and recreation activities.