Parks & Recreation

Update: Tuesday, August 4: Urbandale City Council Votes to Keep the Urbandale Indoor Pool Open – Operations Suspended At Least Through the End of 2020 Due to COVID-19

At its meeting on July 28, 2020, the City Council voted to keep the Urbandale Public Swimming open and to suspend a decision to permanently close the pool.  However, the Council has directed staff that the pool will remain closed at least through 2020, due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and safety of our patrons.

 Staff continues to work with other Des Moines area facilities that provide aquatic services, to offer Urbandale residents alternative aquatic opportunities.

 On July 14, 2020, the Council entered into a one-year agreement with Goldfish Swim School, to provide discounted swim lessons at their Urbandale facility.  For questions and to learn more about Goldfish Swim School Urbandale click here, or call 515.612.9500.

Check back to this webpage for additional information on other partnership opportunities anticipated soon.

Update: Wednesday, July 29: Urbandale Indoor Public Swimming Pool Remains Temporarily Closed

At its meeting on July 28, 2020, the Urbandale the City Council voted to re-open the pool on a yet-to-be-determined date. The pool remains closed until further notice due to COVID-19.

Update: Tuesday, June 30: Urbandale Closing City Facilities to the Public

Due to the increase in new COVID-19 cases reported in central Iowa, beginning at 5 PM Tuesday, June 30, 2020, city buildings and departments are closed to the public until further notice, including:

  • Indoor Public Pool
  • Parks & Recreation Department
  • Senior Recreation Center

Parks & Recreation
Playgrounds and city-owned softball and baseball fields remain open. Classes, lessons, and programs will continue as scheduled following CDC guidelines and with appropriate social distancing. Patrons with current facility rental agreements are on as scheduled, but no new rentals will be accepted until September 1st or after.

We continue to monitor the situation by working closely with the Polk County Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. We will keep you updated should further actions or cancellations be required. Please continue to refer to this webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Update: Friday, June 26: FAQ’s – Regarding the Proposed Closing of the Urbandale Public Swimming Pool

At its meeting on June 17, 2020, the Urbandale Parks and Recreation Commission approved the staff’s recommendation to permanently close the Urbandale Indoor Swimming Pool.  This recommendation was considered by the City Council at its Tuesday, June 30, 2020 meeting and tabled to allow time for community feedback.  For more information on the recommendation, visit the City Council web portal to read the letter regarding the pool closure.

Is the recommendation to close the pool caused by the COVID pandemic?

Yes, the COVID pandemic has fast-forwarded discussions concerning the closure of the pool.  Due to COVID-19, the City closed the pool on March 16, 2020.  The pool was then drained to perform general maintenance and to reduce costs for heating the water and pool chemicals.

The City has been discussing the inevitable closing of the pool since 2008.  If the pool were to re-open, the effects of COVID-19 would impact future programming.  Fewer patrons would be allowed in programs and open swim due to social distancing requirements, resulting in less revenue and an even greater subsidy required for the pool.  

Why is Urbandale considering closing the pool?

The indoor swimming pool was built in 1976 (44 years old) and requires significant maintenance to keep it operational and safe.  This has led to significant operational deficits, averaging $300,000 subsidies per year.  For example, the annual operating budget for 2019 was $572,000 and revenues of $292,000.

In addition, the pool is owned by the City and the land is owned by the Urbandale Community School District.  This arrangement was negotiated in 1976 and expires in 2026.  This pool at this location was only a 50-year agreement, with the knowledge that a new facility and location would be needed in the future to serve the growing community.

Will I be refunded for any credit I have at the pool, or value on my annual pool pass?

All patrons who have a credit on their account at the pool would be refunded.  Annual pass holders would be refunded the pro-rated unused value of their pool pass.

Where can I go to get swim lessons, water aerobics, lap swim?

The City is actively pursuing partnerships with other aquatic facilities in the area to provide aquatic programming for Urbandale residents.

We are optimistic these alternatives for swim lessons would be available this summer, and for water aerobics and lap swim by fall 2020.  Open swim options are anticipated to be available later, depending on the restrictions that may still be enforced due to COVID-19.

What is the status of a new facility?

It is clear that at some point in the future, a new facility would be needed if aquatics are going to continue to be offered as a City amenity.  What exactly that looks like is yet to be determined and will include future resident input.  The process for moving forward with designing a new aquatic facility and securing voter approval is in process and would be continued when the current COVID-19 pandemic situation settles and the economy is more favorable.

Will the City consider building something else at this location?

  • The pool is located on Urbandale Community School District (UCSD) property, and the City would not be able to construct a new facility at this site.
  • When the facility was constructed the City and UCSD entered into a 50 year 28E Lease Agreement, which expires in 2026.   
  • As per the agreement, either party can initiate the closing of the pool prior to 2026.


Update: Friday, June 12: Summer Program and Class Registration

The City of Urbandale has launched a revised summer schedule for programming and events now being offered by the Parks & Recreation Department. We’ve proactively identified and established safety protocols with significant changes to operations to best ensure everyone’s well-being. At the time of publication, the Indoor Pool and Senior Recreation center remain closed for in-person programming.

Registration for summer programs opens on Monday, June 15. Deadlines are quickly approaching as programs begin this June!

Senior Recreation Center:
On June 10, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that senior citizen centers may reopen, but only to the extent that the center complies with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health ensuring social distancing, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures. The Governor’s proclamation also states that she strongly encourages vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, to continue to limit their activities outside the home, including visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose. She also encouraged all Iowans to limit in-person interactions with vulnerable Iowans and to exercise particular care and caution when engaging in necessary interactions.

As restrictions for different facilities are lifted by the Governor, the City of Urbandale will evaluate these new parameters, and make decisions on operations that the City determines are appropriate and safe for our residents.

At this time, the Urbandale Senior Recreation Center (USRC) will remain closed until at least July 6th. Following the guidance of the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health, our staff is working to develop plans that would allow for the safe and responsible opening of the USRC.

The City of Urbandale’s priority is for the safety and health of our patrons, and we will proceed in a safe and cautious manner. More information will be provided as plans are developed.

Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to seeing activities beginning at the USRC in the future. For more information about senior programs and timelines for opening, visit www.UrbandaleSeniors.org or call 515-278-3907.

Indoor Swimming Pool:
On June 10, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that pools may reopen, contingent upon compliance with Iowa Department of Health and CDC guidelines.

As restrictions for different facilities are lifted by the Governor, the City of Urbandale will evaluate these new parameters, and make decisions on operations that the City determines are appropriate and safe for our residents.

At this time, the Urbandale Pool will remain closed until at least July 6, 2020. More information will be provided as decisions are made about the pool. For the most up-to-date information about the pool, visit www.urbandalePool.org

Thank you for your patience as we work through these unprecedented times.

Update: Friday, May 29: Urbandale Opening City Facilities

The City of Urbandale is implementing a plan for a soft reopening of its operations and services beginning next week. The City closed all facilities to the public on March 17 as it responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the past twelve weeks, the City has operated a virtual City Hall, continuing to provide city services online. We continue to hold City Council and committee meetings virtually, respond to emergency and 911 calls, process permits, pick up garbage, and provide other essential services.

Following guidelines set by the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Governor’s Office, the following changes are in effect:

Parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities

  • All Urbandale playgrounds will reopen on June 1, including the skate park. While visiting any public space, use your best judgment and act responsibly; bring your own sanitation supplies with you and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Playground equipment is not regularly sanitized. 
  • Restrooms will reopen on June 1 (drinking fountains will not be turned on).
  • Indoor and outdoor shelter and facility rentals are canceled through at least June 14.
  • All in-person Parks & Recreation programs are canceled through at least June 14. 
  • The Urbandale Indoor Swimming Pool and Senior Recreation Center will remain closed through at least July 6, 2020. A reopening date is still being determined.

Library

  • Curbside service is currently available to library patrons. 
  • The library will open to the public with restrictions on June 15. 
    • The library will open with limited capacity and limited hours. 
    • A number of online programs for all ages are available, including the annual summer reading program.  All in-person events and programs are canceled until further notice.
    • Curbside service will continue for patrons that may still not be comfortable coming into the building.
    • Check the Library Website for the most up-to-date information.

Special Events

  • The Fourth of July parade and carnival are canceled.
  • Party in the Park is canceled.
  • National Night Out has been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date. 

All other city buildings will open on June 15 with limited public access. Members of the public who enter city buildings are encouraged to wear masks, and a mask will be provided if you do not have one. Residents, contractors, and the public are encouraged to do business with staff via phone, email, video conference, or the website.

Update: Thursday, May 21: Urbandale Extending Closures and Announcing New Cancellations

The City of Urbandale is extending closures and announcing new cancellations due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • The Urbandale Indoor Swimming Pool and Senior Recreation Center will remain closed until at least July 6, 2020.
  • All in-person Parks and Recreation Programs are canceled through at least June 14, 2020.
  • Virtual programming opportunities can be found at https://www.urbandale.org/170/Parks-Recreation.

The following park amenities remain closed until at least June 14, 2020:

  • Playgrounds
  • Restrooms
  • All City-owned sports fields
  • Walker Johnston Skate Park
  • Indoor and Outdoor Shelter and facility rentals

Parks and trails continue to be open, but social distancing is required. Avoid groups of people and crowded areas. If a public space can’t be enjoyed safely, go home or discover a new park. While visiting any public space, use your best judgment and act responsibly; bring your own sanitation supplies with you and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you do not feel well or have been sick, stay home.

The City of Urbandale will be complying with all directives from the Governor’s Office, the State Department of Health, and Federal health officials when it comes to the reopening of City services. City facilities will gradually reopen as conditions warrant, a reopen date is still being evaluated. For the most up-to-date information visit www.urbandale.org/COVID-19.

Virtual Classes

We’re always creating new digital video content that you can do every day! See some of the newest videos on the Virtual Classes page!

Virtual 50K Race

A virtual challenge is a challenge that can be accomplished from any location and any workout you choose. You can run, walk, jog, follow a workout video, lift weights in your basement, etc. As long as you stay active, you’ll conquer the challenge! Learn more about the Go the Social Distance 50k - Virtual Challenge here!

Where in the Parks Am I?

From May to October 2020, we will be featuring different parks and encouraging everyone to get outside and enjoy the 56 parks and more than 50 miles of trails Urbandale offers! Every Monday we’ll provide a new clue and photo on Facebook about the park we’re highlighting. At the end of the month, you’ll have the ability to guess which park we are featuring. If you figure it out, submit the answers to us via our online form and you’ll have a chance to win a prize! Learn more, submit your answers, and see all the rules here.

  1. Jan Herke

    Director of Parks & Recreation

  2. Parks & Recreation

    Physical Address
    3600 86th Street
    Urbandale, IA 50322

    Phone: 515-278-3963


Update: Friday, April 17: Recreation Programs Canceled Through May; City Facilities Remain Closed

Governor Reynolds announced all Iowa schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. With this new information, Urbandale Parks & Recreation will be following the same direction, canceling all programs, events, rentals, and shelter reservations through May 31, 2020. All City facilities will also remain closed until further notice.

We have received several questions regarding summer programs, and what timeline and schedule might be considered. Unfortunately, right now there are too many uncertainties to be able to predict when we will be able to offer summer programs. We will continue to monitor information provided by the CDC, State of Iowa, and local officials to develop a plan for future programs and events. In the meantime, we are offering many virtual classes and events online.

Update: Monday, March 30: Playgrounds Closed; Parks and Trails Remain Open

Urbandale’s parks and trails are currently open to the public for recreation but due to COVID-19 our playground equipment, skatepark, and shelter houses are closed until further notice. All park restrooms and water fountains remain closed and turned off. Tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts will remain open, however, team sports, pickup games, and contact play are prohibited.

Residents are asked to do their part to keep family, friends, neighbors and our community safe. Signs will be posted at each park regarding the closure. The City of Urbandale is keeping your well-being top of mind in everything we do.

While visiting any public space, use your best judgment and at your comfort level. Adhere to recommended CDC guidelines for social gatherings and continue social distancing efforts. If you do not feel well or have been sick, please stay home.

Update: Thursday, March 19: Parks, Trails, Classes, and Spring Cleanup

Parks and Trails Remain Open
Urbandale parks, trails, and outdoor shelters are open and can be used at your comfort level. Please note that we don’t sanitize outdoor play structures, playgrounds or equipment. Additional information on best practices for keeping you and your family safe can be found online at the CDC website. Restrooms and water fountains in all parks continue to be closed. Canceling outings and avoiding social contact can be frustrating and difficult amid the spread of coronavirus, but you can still safely enjoy being outdoors at one of the 56 public parks, 36 playgrounds, or 50 miles of paved trails in Urbandale. We encourage people to practice appropriate social distancing and following all the CDC guidelines when it comes to safely interacting with other people. 

Parks & Recreation programs and summer registration suspended until further notice:
In an ongoing effort to keep our residents and patrons safe, we have suspended all Parks & Recreation, Indoor Pool, and Senior Recreation Center classes until further notice. Summer registration for all Parks & Recreation classes, events, programs, and swim lessons are also postponed until further notice.

Spring Clean Up Suspended
The Spring Cleanup Program originally scheduled for Monday, April 20 - Friday, April 24 has been temporarily suspended. This is a very popular program and we will announce a new date soon. You can find more information regarding Spring Cleanup (and many other popular city services and programs) in your water bill, on social media, and right here on the Urbandale website.


Update: Monday, March 16, 2020 - 11:30 AM: All Parks & Recreation Classes/Events Suspended 

As the spread of the virus continues to evolve, residents should expect other changes in services as the City’s response to the COVID-19 virus is implemented. Your health and safety continues to be our most important priority, and we remain committed to keeping you up to date on the actions we are taking as the situation develops.

  • All Parks & Recreation programs, classes, lessons, and events at all facilities have been suspended through Sunday, April 12.
  • All Parks & Recreation facility rentals are canceled through Sunday, April 12.
  • Walker Johnston Regional Park softball and baseball fields are closed through Sunday, April 12.
  • The seasonal opening of park restrooms and drinking fountains will be delayed through Sunday, April 12.
  • The Senior Recreation Center, Indoor Public Pool, Lions Park Shelter, and Giovannetti Community Shelter are closed through Sunday, April 12.

We will keep you updated should further actions or cancellations be required. Please continue to refer to this webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Social Distance In Parks

Social Distancing

  1. Jan Herke

    Director of Parks & Recreation

  2. Parks & Recreation

    Physical Address
    3600 86th Street
    Urbandale, IA 50322

    Phone: 515-278-3963

    Hours
    Monday through Friday
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m.