Welcome to the Flower Program

Welcome community leaders to the Neighborhood Flower Program! Thank you for volunteering to beautify Des Moines, unify your neighborhood and help keep Des Moines an award-winning place to live.

flowering annuals

Individuals or groups interested in beautifying public spaces need to first contact their neighborhood association to place an order. Working through the neighborhood group will eliminate confusion on pick up date and also build relationships in your association.


The Neighborhood Flower Program is a unique partnership that allows plants to be planted exclusively on the right-of-ways, medians, street corners, and parkways (excluding religious groups) within the city limits of Des Moines. These plants are not meant to be planted at private residences or businesses. The requesting party commits to volunteering to plant, water, and maintain approved locations for the entire year.

Neighborhood members in action

Find Your Neighborhood

Individuals or groups interested in beautifying public spaces need to first contact their neighborhood association to place an order. Schools and non-profits do not need to contact neighborhood associations. Working through the neighborhood group will eliminate confusion on pick up date and also build relationships in your association. To find out what neighborhood association a resident belongs to, use our online tool "Show Me My House", enter your address and select from the list of valid addresses. Look in the Neighborhood section to see if a neighborhood is listed for your area. To find out more about your neighborhood visit the Des Moines Neighborhoods page and select your named neighborhood. If your neighborhood association doesn't participate in this program, please contact Park staff.

Neighborhood flower bed 1


To Order: Plan your spaces with your qualified organization, identify your volunteers and fill out the order form and volunteer waivers. Submit the form online to the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department.

Order Deadline: September 29, 2023 (If groups do not make this deadline, plant selection is not guaranteed.)

Pickup: Friday, May 17th from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 18th from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
When the flowers are done, we will send you a link to reserve your pickup time.

Pickup Location: Parks and Recreation Greenhouse, 1553 Maury Street

Volunteers preparing plants fro distribution

Volunteer Commitment

Volunteers are vital to the success of the program, from growing them in the greenhouse to transplanting them to the public spaces they are in. Your commitment as an organization includes:

  • September 2023
    • Working with your neighborhood/organization to select flowers and submit your order.
  • May 2024
    • Supplying volunteers and transportation to pick up your completed flower order in May at the City Greenhouse. Please remember to bring several volunteers and vehicles if you’ve ordered multiple flats.
  • May to October 2024
    • Collecting the waivers, information and hours for your volunteers participating in the neighborhood flower program and submitting them to the City.

We also encourage you to sign-up to volunteer during the growing process by helping us in our Transplanting in the Tropics winter/spring volunteer opportunities found here.

Group of volunteers

Volunteer Supplies

Let us know when you are having a self-led volunteer work day. If you need to borrow some supplies from our Volunteer Tool Room, we have a few items available for checkout. Contact us at parksvolunteer@dmgov.org to reserve tools and schedule a pick-up time.

Volunteer Waiver

All volunteers helping pick-up flowers or maintain your space for the City, must complete the volunteer waiver. If a minor is participating, a parent/legal guardian will need to complete their volunteer waiver. In Spring, we will email you a volunteer waiver link and QR code to help you sign-up volunteers prior to work beginning.

Volunteer Time

Please share the total number of your donated hours and the total number of volunteers participating in this program (May-October). It shows our community’s commitment and when we apply for grants it helps demonstrate your support leveraging City dollars to support programs such as these.

Flower bed

Flower Beds on City Property

Maintaining flower beds takes volunteer and staff time as well as resources such as water. In an effort to plan our City spaces and allocate resources effectively, all new and existing flower beds on City property such as medians, parkland, and street corners must be approved by staff. Our staff assists with plant material questions and may be able to assist with larger flower bed preparation. If you are planting a flower bed on land not owned or maintained by the City of Des Moines, such as schools or non-profit organizations, you do not need to contact Park staff for prior approval. All plantings must be maintained in accordance to Section 102.2 of City of Des Moines Municipal Code.

The group understands by submitting this request, we are agreeing to the expectation and requirement that we will care for our requested areas throughout the entire growing season. If plants are found to be planted on private property, in violation of any terms, or are mistreating staff, we understand it may be grounds for terminating our planting agreement and volunteer service with the City.

Neighborhood flower bed 2


City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation
Neighborhood Flower Program

Julie Hempel