Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens in Downtown Des Moines
You will find Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens nestled along the Des Moines River in the heart of Downtown Des Moines. The garden has been created as a symbol of diversity and appreciation for the contributions of Asian Americans in Iowa. Robert D Ray was an Iowa Governor from 1969-1983. During his four terms, he helped with the resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees.
Located just a short walk from the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden on Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309.
Basic Park Details
Type: Garden park
Parking: Free street parking
Trails: Yes, a few small paths
Water: Yes, a small pond and a few rocks with flowing water feature
Official Website: https://dmbotanicalgarden.com/gardens/robert-d-ray-asian-garden/
- 37-foot-tall Chinese Pavilion
- Wooden Pathway
- Stone pagodas
- Sculptural rock formations
- Small pond (Look for a few frogs!)
Although Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens isn’t your typical “park”, my two kids enjoyed exploring for more than an hour. We walked through the garden, noticing the different plants and greenery. My son was intrigued by the character garden which has Chinese characters engraved on boulders. We enjoyed just sitting and looking at the river and beautiful landscaping while being surrounded by the beauty of the garden in the Asian pavilion.
Contributions of Asian Americans in Iowa
Throughout the park, there are signs that explain the history of the contributions of Asian Americans in Iowa. There was so much I didn’t know about the reasons and journeys that brought many different ethnic groups to Iowa.
Not Too Far From Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens
The Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens are located along the Principal Riverwalk which allows easy access to many fun things in downtown Des Moines!