Episode 2 - How Parks Are Planned

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In the second episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with two members of the parks division of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department. She asks them how they came to be professionals in the field, what steps are involved in creating a new park, if there are any common myths about their job they want to debunk. They also provide insight into playground safety certification and what their favorite parks are.

Guest Bios

Marco Alvarez-Park Planner

Marco is from Sioux City, Iowa and attended Iowa State University where he received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 2007. Marco started his career as a intern Planner for the City of West Des Moines. He then was hired full time as the Park Planner for the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department in 2007. Marco resides in Clive with his wife and three children (the youngest two are twins) aged 2 and 4 years old.


Kevin Conn-Landscape Architect
Kevin's hometown is Keokuk, Iowa. He also attended and received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree for Iowa State University. Kevin worked many years in the private sector as a Landscape Architect. He was employed by Civil Engineering Consultants, Crose Gardner and Associates, BBS Architects/Engineers, Simonson and Associates, and OPN Architects. Kevin was hired in 2017 as the Landscape Architect for the City of West Des Moines. He lives in Beaverdale with his wife and two sons.


Like what you are hearing? Want to suggest other topics? Have further questions?
Email Allison Ullestad, the
 West Side Stories host, at allison.ullestad@wdm.iowa.gov.

The views and opinions expressed on the West Side Stories podcast are entirely those of the host and guests who are entirely responsible for all show content, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the City of West Des Moines officials or staff. This podcast is presented and made public AS ENTERTAINMENT, in the hope that it will be entertaining and informative to the audience. It is not intended to promote any specific lifestyle, belief, religion, political affiliation or other personal practice.