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West Side Stories

West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department

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West Side Stories

West Side Stories

West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department

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About Us

A monthly podcast featuring the staff and friends of the West Des Moines, Iowa, Parks and Recreation Department

Latest Episodes

New Faces. New Places.

West Side Stories has been on a bit of a hiatus the last couple months, but it's back, featuring the many great things happening in West Des Moines. In the 13th episode of the podcast, Allison is joined by two new staff members of the Parks and Rec Department. Marnie Strate and Shayne Ratcliff, along with Department Director Sally Ortgies, discuss their new roles in the department, their job “to-do” lists, and what excites them about their new positions. They also divulge lots of information about the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater and the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex which are both currently being built in West Des Moines. So sit back, listen and enjoy this episode titled, “New Faces. New Places.”

33 MINMAR 1
Comments
New Faces. New Places.

With Friends Like These

In the final episode of 2019, Allison discusses the newly-formed Friends of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation organization. Friends board members Lynnae Hentzen and Eric Tabor, along with Department Director, Sally Ortgies, introduce the group, its mission and goals. They also highlight the future projects that are a focus of their fundraising efforts. If you listen and decide that you would like to become a member of Friends of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation, you can join at www.wdm.iowa.gov/FriendsofWDMPR.

27 MIN2019 DEC 1
Comments
With Friends Like These

Top 10 Reasons We Love West Des Moines

In this fun episode, Allison once again invites Sally Ortgies, Director of the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department, to join her in talking about the top 10 reasons they love West Des Moines. Both are residents of West Des Moines, have raised or are raising children in West Des Moines Community Schools, and serve on various West Des Moines nonprofit organizations' boards. Needless to say, they love West Des Moines! Listen in to hear Allison and Sally discuss the top 10 reasons they love West Des Moines.

54 MIN2019 NOV 2
Comments
Top 10 Reasons We Love West Des Moines

Resting in Peace

In the tenth episode of West Side Stories, Allison visits with Sally Ortgies and David Sadler to discuss the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department's role in the management of the Jordan Cemetery and Huston Cemetery. Each cemetery has a rich history that most West Des Moines residents may not be aware of. Listen in as they discuss how each cemetery came to be, who maintains the grounds, and what operational logistics are involved with the management of both.

32 MIN2019 OCT 1
Comments
Resting in Peace

City Campus Culture

In the ninth episode of West Side Stories, Allison sits down with Kevin Conn and Jodie Weeks to discuss the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater and Illumifest. The Jamie Hurd Amphitheater will be constructed between September 2019 and September 2020 on the WDM City Campus at 4200 Mills Civic Parkway. Illumifest, West Des Moines' annual city celebration, will once again be held in September on the City Campus.

31 MIN2019 SEP 3
Comments
City Campus Culture

Building a Boathouse

In the eighth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with Jodie Weeks, Sally Ortgies and Ryan Penning about the exciting developments that are going to begin soon at Raccoon River Park. A Boathouse will be built beside Blue Heron Lake that will offer several new services to the public. They discuss Boathouse operations, the construction timeline, and future amenities.

25 MIN2019 AUG 1
Comments
Building a Boathouse

Concerning Interning

In the seventh episode of West Side Stories, Allison sits down with the department's three interns. They discuss how their internship has impacted them, what they have learned, and what they will take away from their time in the department.

32 MIN2019 JUL 1
Comments
Concerning Interning

Diving Into Aquatics: Part 2

In the sixth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with one of the department's Recreation Program/Facility Supervisors and a Recreation Coordinator. They discuss what it takes to operate and manage the two aquatic facilities in West Des Moines. If you've ever wondered how many lifeguards get hired each summer or why swimmers have to take breaks every hour, you will enjoy this episode. Because there is so much information about aquatics, this episode is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 is available on June 1, 2019. Part 2 is available on June 15, 2019.

24 MIN2019 JUN 15
Comments
Diving Into Aquatics: Part 2

Diving Into Aquatics: Part 1

In the sixth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with one of the department's Recreation Program/Facility Supervisors and a Recreation Coordinator. They discuss what it takes to operate and manage the two aquatic facilities in West Des Moines. If you've ever wondered how many lifeguards get hired each summer or why swimmers have to take breaks every hour, you will enjoy this episode. Because there is so much information about aquatics, this episode is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 is available on June 1, 2019. Part 2 is available on June 15, 2019.

28 MIN2019 MAY 31
Comments
Diving Into Aquatics: Part 1

Biking in West Des Moines

In the fifth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with the department's Park Planner, Director, and Recreation Superintendent. They discuss how far West Des Moines’ trail system has come in 30 years, the Bicycle Advisory Commission, and future plans for trail extensions and connectors. They get a little silly at the end, though, so make sure to listen all the way through.

31 MIN2019 MAY 1
Comments
Biking in West Des Moines

Latest Episodes

New Faces. New Places.

West Side Stories has been on a bit of a hiatus the last couple months, but it's back, featuring the many great things happening in West Des Moines. In the 13th episode of the podcast, Allison is joined by two new staff members of the Parks and Rec Department. Marnie Strate and Shayne Ratcliff, along with Department Director Sally Ortgies, discuss their new roles in the department, their job “to-do” lists, and what excites them about their new positions. They also divulge lots of information about the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater and the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex which are both currently being built in West Des Moines. So sit back, listen and enjoy this episode titled, “New Faces. New Places.”

33 MINMAR 1
Comments
New Faces. New Places.

With Friends Like These

In the final episode of 2019, Allison discusses the newly-formed Friends of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation organization. Friends board members Lynnae Hentzen and Eric Tabor, along with Department Director, Sally Ortgies, introduce the group, its mission and goals. They also highlight the future projects that are a focus of their fundraising efforts. If you listen and decide that you would like to become a member of Friends of West Des Moines Parks and Recreation, you can join at www.wdm.iowa.gov/FriendsofWDMPR.

27 MIN2019 DEC 1
Comments
With Friends Like These

Top 10 Reasons We Love West Des Moines

In this fun episode, Allison once again invites Sally Ortgies, Director of the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department, to join her in talking about the top 10 reasons they love West Des Moines. Both are residents of West Des Moines, have raised or are raising children in West Des Moines Community Schools, and serve on various West Des Moines nonprofit organizations' boards. Needless to say, they love West Des Moines! Listen in to hear Allison and Sally discuss the top 10 reasons they love West Des Moines.

54 MIN2019 NOV 2
Comments
Top 10 Reasons We Love West Des Moines

Resting in Peace

In the tenth episode of West Side Stories, Allison visits with Sally Ortgies and David Sadler to discuss the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department's role in the management of the Jordan Cemetery and Huston Cemetery. Each cemetery has a rich history that most West Des Moines residents may not be aware of. Listen in as they discuss how each cemetery came to be, who maintains the grounds, and what operational logistics are involved with the management of both.

32 MIN2019 OCT 1
Comments
Resting in Peace

City Campus Culture

In the ninth episode of West Side Stories, Allison sits down with Kevin Conn and Jodie Weeks to discuss the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater and Illumifest. The Jamie Hurd Amphitheater will be constructed between September 2019 and September 2020 on the WDM City Campus at 4200 Mills Civic Parkway. Illumifest, West Des Moines' annual city celebration, will once again be held in September on the City Campus.

31 MIN2019 SEP 3
Comments
City Campus Culture

Building a Boathouse

In the eighth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with Jodie Weeks, Sally Ortgies and Ryan Penning about the exciting developments that are going to begin soon at Raccoon River Park. A Boathouse will be built beside Blue Heron Lake that will offer several new services to the public. They discuss Boathouse operations, the construction timeline, and future amenities.

25 MIN2019 AUG 1
Comments
Building a Boathouse

Concerning Interning

In the seventh episode of West Side Stories, Allison sits down with the department's three interns. They discuss how their internship has impacted them, what they have learned, and what they will take away from their time in the department.

32 MIN2019 JUL 1
Comments
Concerning Interning

Diving Into Aquatics: Part 2

In the sixth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with one of the department's Recreation Program/Facility Supervisors and a Recreation Coordinator. They discuss what it takes to operate and manage the two aquatic facilities in West Des Moines. If you've ever wondered how many lifeguards get hired each summer or why swimmers have to take breaks every hour, you will enjoy this episode. Because there is so much information about aquatics, this episode is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 is available on June 1, 2019. Part 2 is available on June 15, 2019.

24 MIN2019 JUN 15
Comments
Diving Into Aquatics: Part 2

Diving Into Aquatics: Part 1

In the sixth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with one of the department's Recreation Program/Facility Supervisors and a Recreation Coordinator. They discuss what it takes to operate and manage the two aquatic facilities in West Des Moines. If you've ever wondered how many lifeguards get hired each summer or why swimmers have to take breaks every hour, you will enjoy this episode. Because there is so much information about aquatics, this episode is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 is available on June 1, 2019. Part 2 is available on June 15, 2019.

28 MIN2019 MAY 31
Comments
Diving Into Aquatics: Part 1

Biking in West Des Moines

In the fifth episode of West Side Stories, Allison speaks with the department's Park Planner, Director, and Recreation Superintendent. They discuss how far West Des Moines’ trail system has come in 30 years, the Bicycle Advisory Commission, and future plans for trail extensions and connectors. They get a little silly at the end, though, so make sure to listen all the way through.

31 MIN2019 MAY 1
Comments
Biking in West Des Moines
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