Coming in 2018 - The Jester Park Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center

Outdoor opportunities abound in central Iowa. From the mile after mile of trails, waterways and natural areas, Polk County offers a wide variety of things to do to keep Iowans healthy and happy in the outdoors. But one thing the area is lacking is a centralized location to house the equipment, availability and know-how to get people out and enjoying the abundance of activities offered just right outside their front doors. The Jester Park Nature Center Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center will fill this empty niche by providing residents and visitors of Polk County with the skills and equipment needed to enjoy a life outdoors.

 As part of the Jester Park Nature Center campus, this facility will provide park visitors a place to get active, get fit and get into nature. It will offer a wide variety of recreational activities and rental equipment giving everyone access to outdoor adventure and fun.

Try your skills at archery on an indoor archery course open year-round. Rent a kayak or canoe. Hone your paddling skills on Discovery pond or check out a fishing pole and try your hand at angling. And the fun doesn't end when the snow flies! The Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center will offer affordable cross country ski and snowshoe rental to keep you outdoors and moving during those long winter months. Classes will also be offered to learn cross country skiing basics. Then hit the groomed trails at Jester Park to try out your newly acquired skill!

Other instructional classes at the Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center will range from Kayaking 101 to bluebird boxes to connecting with nature by attending classes on mindfulness and health and wellness from a self care perspective. We look forward to developing meaningful community programming partnerships so we can offer the best programming possible.

Nothing like this exists in the Des Moines metro area. This will be a facility that promotes health and wellness by being active in the great outdoors. Affordable equipment rental will give visitors the opportunity to experience a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities without having to make a personal investment before trying it first. In addition, experienced and trained naturalists will be on site to help answer questions, fit you into the right gear and teach you the basics to help get you started.

The Outdoor Recreation and Wellness Center will be located right next to the new Jester Park Nature Center and will be an essential component of the future Jester Park Campus. Look for this facility to open alongside the Nature Center in 2018!


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