Dear Trail Friends:

You are cordially invited to LAUNCH: Art at Water Works Park on Saturday, May 30, for a riverside unveiling of a temporary public art installation by New York-based artist Mary Mattingly that calls attention to the joy of reconnecting to our waterways. The featured speaker will be Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp at 1 p.m.


LAUNCH is a new annual event aimed at drawing new and current users into Water Works Park to explore its many recreational opportunities. The free event opens at 11 a.m. and features a range of activities, music, food trucks and the Iowa Beer Tent in“The Village” in the Denman Woods area of the Park until 6 p.m. Visit for the schedule of activities. The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department will offer float trips starting at the pedestrian bridge at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and each last approximately 30 minutes.

The event launches a regional water trails plan for improving the water trails and nearby greenways in the Greater Des Moines region. The plan is being developed by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The plan will incorporate the Water Works Park Master Plan into a regional plan covering approximately 150 miles of creeks and rivers in central Iowa.

Three additional events are planned in May to kick off the water trails plan, including range of activities such as speakers and paddling excursions. A list of upcoming activities is included below. Additional details about the planning process, the launch and community events can be found at

The public art work is sponsored by Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation and the Iowa Arts Council. The LAUNCH: Art event is sponsored by Scheels, Veridian Credit Union, Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation and the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

As ever, please let us know if there is addition information we can provide you. We hope to see you at the events.


Gunnar Olson | Communications Manager

Des Moines Area MPO | 420 Watson Powell, Jr. Way, Suite 200, Des Moines, IA 50309

p. 515.334.0075 | e. | w. | t. @gunnarbolson

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