Des Moines, IA
2022 Trust for Public Land ParkScore® Ranking: #25
Des Moines’s ranking is based on five characteristics of an effective park system:
access, investment, acreage, amenities, and equity.
How We Calculated Des Moines’s ParkScore® Rating:
Access
58 out of 100
Acreage
75 out of 100
Investment
61 out of 100
Amenities
71 out of 100
Equity
40 out of 100
How does it work?
Each of the 100 most-populous U.S. cities is awarded points
for 14 measures across the five categories listed above (Access,
Acreage, Investment, Amenities, Equity). The average of those
five category scores give each city its ParkScore® rating.
In evaluating a city's park systems, we consider any
publicly accessible land that functions as a park. ParkScore index methodology
We're working to ensure that every person, in every neighborhood, in every city
across America has a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home.
Is Des Moines meeting that goal?
72%
of residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park.
Median for the 100 ParkScore® cities: 75%
Median for the 14,000 cities and towns in our ParkServe® database: 55%
Percent of residents within a
10-minute walk of a park by age
Children (0 - 19)
Adults (20 - 64)
Seniors (65+)
Percent of residents within a
10-minute walk of a park by income
Percent of residents within a 10-minute walk of a park by race/ethnicity

*Excludes those that report Hispanic origin (which is captured separately from race by the U.S. Census).

Nearby park space by race/ethnicity

Additional Findings:

Residents in neighborhoods where most people identify as a person of color have access to 60% less park space per person than those in predominantly white neighborhoods.

Any Census-designated race/ethnicity not shown above does not meet the minimum threshold to be displayed.

Nearby park space by income

Additional Findings:

Residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 59% less park space per person than those in high-income neighborhoods.

14%
of Des Moines's city land is used for parks and recreation.
Median for 100 ParkScore® cities: 19%
Median for all 14,000 cities and towns in our ParkServe® database: 15%
Where in Des Moines Are Parks Needed Most?
Des Moines Has 174 Parks
We’ve mapped park access in 14,000 cities and towns across the country. Our free mapping platform helps you pinpoint where to focus park investments in your city.
Explore the map
See Des Moines's Map
Des Moines Park Amenities Compared to the 100 Most-Populous U.S. Cities
Basketball Hoops
42 points out of 100
3.3 per 10,000 people
Dog Parks
67 points out of 100
1.8 per 100,000 people
Playgrounds
50 points out of 100
3.3 per 10,000 people
Bathrooms
78 points out of 100
2.5 per 10,000 people
Recreation and Senior Centers
87 points out of 100
1.3 per 20,000 people
Splashpads
100 points out of 100
10.2 per 100,000 people
Des Moines’s Park Spending Per Capita
Des Moines’s total spending per capita: $128
National Averages, Spending Per Capita:
City agency: $83 (85%)
Other public agencies: $7 (7%)
Private organizations: $5 (5%)
Monetized volunteer hours: $3 (3%)
TOTAL: $98
Mayor Frank Cownie has pledged to adopt long-term, system-wide strategies to make sure every Des Moines resident has access to all the benefits parks provide.
"I have endorsed the vision that everyone should have a park or open space within a 10-minute walk of home." — Mayor Cownie
Learn about the 10-Minute Walk campaign