July Is Park and Recreation Month

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Each July since 1985, America has celebrated Park and Recreation Month, a program of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The goal is to raise awareness of the vital impact that parks, recreation and conservation has on communities across the U.S. This July, discover the power of play and adventure. For children and adults, play is a vital part of our mental wellbeing, physical health and personal interactions. During Park and Recreation Month, NRPA is challenging everyone to get their play on with their local parks and recreation. Whether it’s summer camp, an adult sports league, exploring a trail, Zumba class, meeting friends on the playground, playing cards in the park, or discovering nature — parks and play go hand in hand.

Read the official DESIGNATION OF JULY AS PARK AND RECREATION MONTH PROCLAMATION made on July 10, 2017 by West Des Moines Mayor Pro-tem, Rick Messerschmidt.



We have created a full list of ideas for how you can get out and celebrate Park and Recreation Month this July right here in West Des Moines.  We hope you will try them all and enjoy the ways in which your West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department provides everyday enjoyment through people, parks, and programs!

Stay Active

Walk, run, jog, or bike on the 65 miles of trails in West Des Moines

Play at one or several of 27 West Des Moines parks

Cool off at an Aquatic Center or Sprayground (2017 season passes are 50% off starting July 15th)

Get Involved

Round up your family, neighborhood, or organization and Adopt a WDM Park or Trail

Attend a Parks & Recreation Board, Public Arts Advisory Commission, or Bicycle Commission Monthly Meeting

Stay up to date on Parks and Recreation information on Facebook and Twitter

Try Something New

Give archery a "shot" at the Raccoon River Park Archery Facility

Drop in for Coed Badminton Open Gym (Sundays; Valley Southwoods; 2:30-5pm; $2-$3)

Try outdoor yoga at Yoga on the Lawn (Sundays; WDM City Hall Lawn; 9am; Free)

Let your furry friend run and explore at the Raccoon River Dog Park

Learn how to play Gaga Ball at Scenic Valley Park

Make Connections

Travel the full Jordan Creek Trail to view the Art on the Trail  

Learn about historic WDM citizens as you visit Jordan Cemetery

Stroll around the WDM City Campus Pond and see the current Art on the Campus Exhibit

Plan An Event

Rent a Park Shelter for your next get-together

Plan a party at the Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge

Host a community gathering at the Valley Junction Activity Center

Gather the neighborhood for a Block Party

Spread The Word

Download and print off a "Get Your Play On" Activity Book for the children in your life

Hang a free "Get Your Play On" Poster in your business or residence

Contact your City Councilmember and tell them you support your local Parks and Recreation Department