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contracts and special projects

Operation Downtown fosters a business-friendly environment, providing vision planning for revitalizing spaces and streetscapes, conducting market research and creating strategic partnerships to focus on investment toward important Downtown Des Moines (DSM) issues. In addition to working on special projects, Operation Downtown provides contract services.

Downtown Public Space/Park Maintenance

Operation Downtown manages a unique collaboration between the private and public sectors to provide cooperative maintenance of Downtown public parks and other public spaces, including the Principal Riverwalk, John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, East Locust Street and more. The work goes beyond typical safe and clean services and includes turf/irrigation, sidewalk/trail snow removal, plant bed maintenance, utilities and more. 

Downtown Farmers’ Market Recycling & Waste Management

The Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines has become one of DSM's premier events, attracting nearly 300 entrepreneurial vendors and an average of 25,000 people every Saturday morning from May – October in the Historic Court District. The success of The Market would not be possible without Operation Downtown.

As the sun comes up, Ambassadors are hard at work, putting street barricades in place and setting up temporary seating areas where shoppers can relax. As the crowds flood The Market, Ambassadors spread out across the nine-block site, ensuring that trash cans are emptied in a timely manner. They stay in close contact with off-duty officers from the Des Moines Police Department (DMPD) throughout the event to keep The Market safe.

Crow Control

When the weather turns colder in the fall, thousands of crows flock to Downtown DSM to seek warmth. These huge flocks can make quite a mess with their droppings, so Operation Downtown works with the USDA federal wildlife specialists to implement crow preventative measures. From pyrotechnics that generate loud noises to laser beams that scare off the birds, the Operation Downtown crow control program has implemented several successful crow-control techniques that keep Downtown DSM clean and have led the way for other cities.