Children's Forest

In 1962, early planning and development for the Children’s Forest started through conversations with the Phil Fox Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. Hundreds of trees that serve as living memorials honoring loved ones that passed away. Local clubs and organizations assisted the Izaak Walton League in planting a variety of species that are used to help children learn to identify Iowa’s trees. The Children's Forest is a special place for children to connect with nature. Additions have been added throughout the years including a StoryWalk trail, updated tree plaques, and tree carvings. The StrayWalk is a fun and educational activity where a children’s story book is deconstructed and posted along the loop gravel trail. These stories are changed throughout the year and are posted on our Facebook page. While you’re on the StoryWalk trail, keep an eye out for 6 carved tree stumps carved by Des Moines tree carving artist, Gary Keenan. These ash trees were repurposed due to the emerald ash borer as storybook art. Can you recognize the characters?  Venture off the trail to discover different tree species that are marked with information black plaques. How many can you find?


Located on the northwest side of Badger Lake at Kennedy Park. North of the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater. Google map HERE


A StoryWalk trail, tree carvings, tree ID, open shelter, shared parking with Veterans Memorial Amphitheater and shelter, near by pit toilet and access to the trail around Badger Lake.

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