Water Works
Park Concept

City of Des Moines
Des Moines, IA
1,500 acres

Water Works Park's 1,500 acres are 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 this 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 about and understands the role of water in the region. 

Merit Award in Planning & Analysis
ASLA Iowa Chapter