Des Moines, IA
2021 ParkScore® ranking: #35
Our analysis 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
57 out of 100
Acreage
76 out of 100
Investment
51 out of 100
Amenities
69 out of 100
Equity
38 out of 100
How does it work?
Cities can earn a maximum ParkScore rating of 100 points,
calculated as an average of their points for each of the
five categories. In evaluating park systems, we include
all publicly accessible land within the 100 most populous
U.S. cities that functions as a park. ParkScore index methodology
We're working to ensure there's a park within a 10-minute walk of home
of every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America.
Is Des Moines meeting that goal?
71%
of residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park.
National average 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).

Park Space Per Person by Race/Ethnicity Relative to City Median

Selected Findings:

Residents in neighborhoods of color have access to 12% more park space per person than the city median and 62% less than those in white neighborhoods.

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

Park Space per Person By Income Relative to the City Median

Selected Findings:

Residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 30% less park space per person than the city median and 62% less than those in high-income neighborhoods.

12%
of Des Moines's city land is used for parks and recreation.
National median 15%
Where in Des Moines are parks needed most?
Des Moines has 159 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 Largest U.S. Cities
Basketball Hoops
43 rd percentile
3 per 10,000 people
Dog Parks
73 rd percentile
1.7 per 100,000 people
Playgrounds
61 st percentile
3.1 per 10,000 people
Bathrooms
71 st percentile
2.4 per 10,000 people
Recreation and Senior Centers
78 th percentile
1.3 per 20,000 people
Splashpads
98 th percentile
9.6 per 100,000 people
Des Moines’s Park Spending Per Capita
Des Moines’s total spending per capita: $105
National Averages, Spending Per Capita:
City agency: $81 (85%)
Other public agencies: $6 (6%)
Private organizations: $5 (5%)
Monetized volunteer hours: $4 (4%)
TOTAL: $96
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 evryone should have a park or open space within a 10-minute walk of home." — Mayor Cownie
Learn about the 10-Minute Walk campaign