“In the Public Interest Award”

City of Des Moines

– Parks & Recreation Department

Annually, the Association honors an individual, a local government or an intergovernmental project that best demonstrates the aggressive pursuit of efficiency over the past year.
The purpose of the award is to recognition cost-saving, innovation, collaboration, and creativity within public-sector organizations.

Why Des Moines Parks and Recreation was recognized:

  • DMPR maintained services while facing a $4,000,000 reduction in operating funds and experiencing a 400% increase in park utilization during the pandemic.
  • Competitively bid new management contract at the three municipal golf courses: annual savings of $600,000 and capital improvements of $1,000,000 provided by contractor. 
  • Outsourced parkland mowing over a decade ago: Average savings realized: over $1,000,000 annually.
  • Over 10,000 volunteers donated more than 81,000 hours of service (valued at more than $2,000,000) in the past three years

Complete Letter of Nomination

  • Ben Page, Director, DMPR
  • Scott Sanders, City Manager
  • Jenny Richmond, Asst. Director, DMPR
  • Frank Cownie, Mayor