Water Works Park
Located on Fleur Drive directly across from Gray's Lake, Des Moines Water Works Park covers nearly 1,500 acres of open wooded areas. The park stretches from Fleur Drive, west of 63rd Street, bounded by the Raccoon River on the north edge, and George Flagg Parkway to the south.
Biking, jogging, picnicking, fishing, and hiking are a few of the activities that park patrons enjoy. Picnic areas, complete with tables and grills, are located in several areas of the park. Large, open areas are available for team sports such as tag football, and soccer. For more information on the trail system, visit City of Des Moines official website.
Des Moines Water Works Park Concerts
For Lauridsen Amphitheater concerts and events, please visit Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation's concert calendar.
Des Moines Water Works Park Renovation
The Park is owned and operated by Des Moines Water Works. Realizing the positive impact of the development of nearby Gray’s Lake Park, community leaders recognized the unrealized potential of this large urban green space. An international “parkatecture” competition was conducted in 2013, and a master plan was developed for the park that emphasized the importance of clean water to our quality of life, utilizing conservation, education and recreation/health as key principles in design development.
The Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation, formed in November 2013, is a non-profit organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life for Central Iowans by the enhancement of Water Works Park in Des Moines, Iowa. The Foundation integrates education, conservation, recreation, and health by engaging park users and informing them of the importance of water quality throughout their adventure in Water Works Park. It is important to note that the Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation, a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is leading the fundraising and enhanced programming in Water Works Park. Funds being raised to implement the master plan by the Foundation are from private sources and do not come from Des Moines Water Works ratepayers.
Water Works Park Rules & Regulations
Des Moines Water Works Park Hours
6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Firearms, Fireworks and Explosives
No person shall use firearms, explosives, weapons, firecrackers, or fireworks of any character, unless permission has been granted by DMWW
Fishing is permitted by all legal methods outlined in the State Fishing Laws. See, Iowa Department of Natural Resources publication, Iowa Fishing Regulations.
Overnight camping is not permitted except by special permission.
Fires and Fire Pits
Fires are allowed only in existing picnic area fireplaces and picnic area grills. Grilling is allowed only on picnic area grills. No digging of fire pits or trenches is permitted
Destruction of Plant Life
No person shall in any manner cut, deface, injure, or remove any tree, shrub, or plant. No person shall pick or destroy any flowers growing on Water Works’ property.
Disorderly and Obscene Conduct, Nuisances
No person shall use any loud, violent, obscene, or profane language; nor shall any person engage in disorderly or obscene conduct, or commit any nuisance on Water Works’ property.
No person shall deposit upon or litter the ground with any form of waste material. All such waste material must be carried off the property or placed in trash receptacles provided.
No person shall destroy, injure, deface, or otherwise abuse any building, equipment, sign, or other natural or material property belonging to Des Moines Water Works.
No dog or other animal brought into Water Works Park shall be allowed to run at large, except for dogs in designated off-leash areas. Animals shall be deemed running at large unless the owner carries the animal, or leads it by a leash not exceeding six feet in length, or keeps the animal confined in a wagon, automobile, or other vehicle.
All horses shall be kept on bridle trails and under control at all times. No person shall hitch a horse or other animal except at hitching rails where provided. In other areas, no horse or other animal shall be hitched to trees, shrubs, fences, etc. in such a manner as to result in property damage. Horses are not permitted in picnic areas.
No all terrain vehicles (ATVs), snowmobiles, watercraft, or unlicensed recreational motor vehicles shall be permitted to operate on Water Works property or waters, except that canoes and kayaks with a valid use permit are allowed on Dale Maffitt Reservoir.
No person shall enter upon closed portions of Water Works property in disregard of closed gates or signs forbidding the same.
River, Ponds and Fountain
No person shall skate on the ice or swim in the waters of the Raccoon River or any natural or artificial body of water on Water Works property. Wading shall be considered swimming, except for fishing purposes. Launching of boats upon Des Moines Water Works property is not allowed.
No person shall ride or drive any motor vehicle in Water Works Park except upon the established roadways, and shall not exceed a speed limit of 20 miles per hour at any time nor exceed any other posted speed limit. All park roads are considered public thoroughfares, subject to the same traffic laws as city streets or county roads. All vehicles shall be operated as required by law, including the Code of Iowa, and applicable ordinances.
All vehicle parking shall be confined to designated parking areas where provided. Vehicles are not allowed to park on the grass unless granted permission by DMWW staff. No vehicle shall be permitted to park in such a manner as to congest traffic or obstruct any roadway or drive.
Multi-use recreational trails are open for use by the public at all times with the exception that portions of the trail system may be closed from time to time due to flooding, maintenance activities, or other circumstances. Closed sections of a trail shall not be used by the public. Use of the trail system after park hours is allowed, providing users stay on the trail at all times.
These rules are enforced by Water Works staff and by law enforcement officials. All use of Water Works Park and Dale Maffitt Reservoir is subject to compliance with the rules, and such privilege may be terminated or suspended as provided in the Water Works Board Policy Manual. Terminations and suspensions hereunder shall not apply to rights of use of multi-use recreational trails, providing users stay on the trail at all times. Any entry onto, or use of, Water Works Park or Dale Maffitt Reservoir in violation of a termination or suspension shall be deemed a trespass, and shall be subject to civil and criminal penalties for trespass as provided by law.