New organization to support West Des Moines Parks and Recreation

Sally Ortgies, Director of Parks and Recreation, has announced that a new group – Friends of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation – has been launched to support the development and enhancement of public parks, facilities, and recreation programs for the benefit of residents and visitors of West Des Moines. The nonprofit organization is a successor to the WestParks Foundation and has thirteen volunteer board members.
“The City is excited to welcome the support that Friends of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation will offer and is looking forward to utilizing their energy in the promotion and implementation of the Five Waters Project, particularly the future Raccoon River Pedestrian Bridge which will connect Raccoon River Park and Walnut Woods State Park,” Ortgies said. The Friends have chosen to focus on the Raccoon River Pedestrian Bridge as their first fundraising project. Every dollar raised through private donations will be matched by the City of West Des Moines with Local Option Sales and Services Tax (LOSST) revenue.
“We invite parks and recreation enthusiasts to be a part of the exciting plans to expand outdoor recreation opportunities in our city by becoming a member of Friends of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation,” said Eric Tabor, president of the Friends board. The Friends will be kicking off their inaugural membership drive during the month of December beginning with a special appearance at the Valley Junction Activity Center, 217 5th Street, West Des Moines during Jingle in the Junction on Thursday, December 5, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The first 200 members will receive a free Friends T-shirt. To become a member or make a donation to the Raccoon River Pedestrian Bridge project, visit the Friends website at
For more information about the Five Waters Project, visit