Greenwood Park was designated as Des Moines’ first park in 1894. Ashworth Park opened in 1924, with Ashworth Pool opening shortly after in 1926. The result and vision of those early days for us has been access to fantastic hiking and biking trails, a home to a fantastic art museum, and a wealth of other family activities.
Lucky Greenwood neighborhood families can call Greenwood/Ashworth Park their local playground; for the rest of us it’s worth setting aside a little time for a visit to be surprised by all the park has to offer. If you want to make a day of it, visitor’s should be sure to visit the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden and the Des Moines Art Center too.
Here’s your guide to Greenwood/Ashworth Park in Des Moines:
Know Before You Go
The Greenwood/Ashworth Park is located just off Grand tucked “behind” the Des Moines Art Center. The official address is 4500 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312. Visit Des Moines Parks and Recreation’s website or call (515) 237-1386 for directions or additional information.
There is plenty of FREE off-street parking available within Greenwood and Ashworth Park. However, there may be limited parking at each facility, like near the pond or pool, so you may have to park and then walk a ways to your destination.
Public restrooms are at the Jay Spence Shelter located near the sprayground and additional facilities are at Ashworth Pool.
Picnic tables, benches, charcoal grills, drinking fountain, tennis courts, accessible playground, pond, enclosed shelter, open shelter, sprayground, nature trail, and a walking/bike path.
While You’re There
As you enter Greenwood park on 45th Street from Grand, you will pass the Sylvan Amphitheater. This site is host to outdoor concerts like Summer in the City, church services and can be rented for private events like weddings.
Next you will come upon the Greenwood Park Lagoon. This area features a dock and gravel path that wraps around the pond, a tower and an “open air” classroom. This is a great place for kids to explore aquatic plants and animals. It’s also a great urban fishing spot.
Right before the pond parking area, there is a small sign that directs you up the hill east towards the playground and spraygrounds. You’ll also find the tennis courts, open air shelter and the Jay Spence Enclosed Shelter in this part of the park.
To get to the Ashworth Pool, continue straight on 45th and it will be off to your left.
In addition, the park is filled with gorgeous green spaces, beautiful woods and walking and biking paths.
Have you been to Greenwood/Ashworth Park? What are your favorite things about it?