New, Year-Round Recreation Feature Coming to Sleepy Hollow Sports Park

Published 11/17/2022 8:32:29 AM

Des Moines, IOWA (November 17, 2022) – Imagine the thrill of tubing or snowboarding down a giant hill with wind and moisture flying in your face -- in the middle of July! In the next few years that imagined future will be a reality in Des Moines. Polk County Conservation is set to install an all-season turf surface, called Snowflex, on the tubing hill at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity this new feature brings to the community,” said Jeff Condon, Leisure Services Manager for Polk County Conservation. “We’re getting an upper hand on mother nature, offering winter sports in any weather – making the park more available for visitors.”

The 39,289 square-foot, all-season turf will be the largest in the United States once installed. It is a multi-layered, impervious material that will be continuously lubricated with water to allow sports equipment to glide across when not covered in snow. Here is a video about the Snowflex surface in Virginia.

“We applaud Polk County Conservation for their creativity and fresh perspective on Sleepy Hollow. Thank you to the Polk County Board of Supervisors too for their support. This will be great for the local community and will also be a huge new attraction for visitors. In just one weekend, travelers from across the Midwest can skateboard at Lauridsen Skatepark one day then snowboard at Sleepy Hollow the next,” said Greg Edwards, President & CEO of Catch Des Moines.

In warmer months at Sleepy Hollow, tubing, skiing, and snowboarding will run on the Snowflex surface at designated times. Once the snow flies, recreation will be limited to tubing for the first few winter seasons. Full snow-based skiing and snowboarding is anticipated for the 2024/2025 season.

The planned rollout of winter sports in both warm and cold weather is part of Polk County Conservation’s phased approach to re-introducing Sleepy Hollow to the community. Acquired in September of 2022, staff made the decision to keep the park closed to perform needed assessments and repairs on the property and equipment. After the all-weather surface is installed, Conservation’s focus will shift to preparing for traditional snow-based recreation. Additionally, staff will be making decisions on remodeling the lodge facility, improving parking/access, and expanding camping operations. Throughout this multi-year process, Polk County Conservation will continue to seek input from the surrounding community and winter-sports enthusiasts.

all-season turf with back of person tubing down the hill

[Photo courtesy of Snowflex.]