Our Work

Gray's Lake Master Plan

Des Moines, Iowa

The 167-acre Gray’s Lake Park is an urban gem which attracts more than one million visitors each year and provides place of peaceful retreat, outdoor recreation and a beautiful gateway to downtown Des Moines.

Located on the southwestern edge of downtown Des Moines, the park is located on the site of a former gravel and sand excavation operation. Today, the park provides many opportunities for walking, biking and other activities, the centerpiece of which is a 1.9-mile trail encircling the lake. The park features a 100-acre lake for water recreation; an iconic pedestrian bridge; and a beautiful, natural setting where visitors can often spot a bald eagle soaring overhead.

The original Master Plan was created in 1998 and has served the park very well. Recent planning efforts and adjacent redevelopment spurred the City of Des Moines and the Gray’s Lake Foundation to revisit the almost 20 year old plan.

Confluence was retained to develop a revised master plan and has worked closely with the City of Des Moines including Mayor Frank Cownie, the City Manager, and representatives from various department; representatives from the adjacent Water Works Park; and the Gray’s Lake Foundation.

The revised master plan focuses largely on connectivity to the adjacent Water Works Park and adjacent planned development. The plan recommends an underpass connection at Fleur Drive; a pedestrian bridge connecting the park to Riverpoint West; and a new park entrance off of Thomas Beck Road.