Water Works Park

Des Moines, IA

Services provided on this project:

Landscape Architecture Overview:

Water Works Park is 1,500 acres bisected by the Raccoon River and a three mile long infiltration gallery, which is a major source of drinking water for the Greater Des Moines area. The overall vision of the concept plan is to shape, using the natural boundary of the River, two distinct - yet complementary sections of Water Works Park: the wild and the engineered. The wild offers immersion into the Park’s magnificent natural setting through activities like horseback riding, hiking, and exploration. The engineered is the active heart of the Park and provides more structured outdoor activities and event spaces. The centerpiece of the engineered landscape is a recreational watercourse, experienced on standing paddleboards, that is linked to interpretive opportunities regarding the role of the site in harvesting and cleaning drinking water. The engineered landscape also connects to city streets, integrating the park with the urban fabric of Des Moines. Through a series of engaging experiences, the plan offers the potential to realize and reinforce Water Works Park’s mission - to transform the way society thinks and understands the role of water in the region.