Five Non-Profit Organizations to Visit Near Des Moines (and what they stand for)

Most bustling cities are known for their large attractions and glamorous life. When you hear “New York City”, you think of the Statue of Liberty. When you Chicago, you think of Millenium Park and taking a trip to Wrigley Field. But what about Des Moines? Central Iowa is overflowing with non-profits that deserve more attention.

More time should be given to explore the organizations that make up the community and the area instead of the attractions found in a Google search.  Do you want to get a taste of the real Des Moines? Here are five non-profit organizations to pay a visit or a few hours (or a check?).

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Thrilling True Crime Podcasts For Your Morning Hikes In Des Moines

Go outside and get enthralled by these true crime tales! Beat that Covid-19 Cabin Fever!

Are you someone that loves to listen to true crime podcasts while enjoying your daily commute, weekend hikes, or while you’re doing chores? I am the same way. I find myself completely captivated the minute I turn on my favorite podcasts like Crime Junkie or My Favorite Murder. I decided to make a quick list of  local true crime stories and best hiking spots so you don’t have to!

Missing Midwest: Hosted by Liz martin, listeners get transported to the Midwest. The Iowa native dedicates her podcast to stories of those who have gone missing. For stories about Des Moines disappearances check out episodes:

  • Missing John David Gosch – A 12 year old boy set out on his daily newspaper route, but no papers got delivered. When unusual men and a set of cars appeared, it looked like Johnny got taken, but the police see it differently. What actually happened to Johnny Gosch?
  • Missing: Eugene Wade Martin – The 2nd disappearance in Des Moines area. Many believe this is in connection to the disappearance of Johnny Gosch. Many witnesses spotted Gene talking to a man right before he vanished decades ago. What happened to Gene Martin?
  • Missing: Marc James Warren Allen – Marc went to go to a friend’s house to watch a movie, he never arrived. Is there a connection with all three missing Des Moines boys? Or did something else happen that fateful night. Find out now!

Missing in the Metro: Hosts Ross Peterson, Heather Burnside, and Sergeant Paul Parizek dive into unsolved murders in Des Moines, Iowa. Enjoy this 10 episode journey!

According to Kathleen Check, a psychotherapist in Chicago says “True crime provides a particular kind of escapism during the pandemic. Tuning in and following the specifics of a crime also creates a sense of being able to see inside the mind of a criminal, which create the mindset of: If I know how criminals operate, I can protect myself.” Have fun escaping and becoming a true crime expert while enjoying some of the great trials of Des Moines!

Go visit these classic Des Moines destinations:

  1. Sycamore Trail – This gorgeous 6+ mile trail is perfect for admiring rich wildlife and vegetation!
  2. Kruidenier Trail around Gray’s Lake – This beautifully landscaped trail leads you right into downtown Des Moines! There are so many fun activities to enjoy.  
  3. Mark C. Ackelson Trail – This old trail used to be a coal mine that operated well into the 50’s! Consider this cool and long trial if you enjoy history.
  4. Neal Smith Trail From Center Street Dam – This is a 26 – mile multipurpose trail that extends from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park.  
  5. Bill Riley Train – This short trail is an immersive and tranquil experience.

Check out All Trails for the rest of the top 20 trails of Des Moines!

Please enjoy this curated Des Moines inspired list while taking a break from being indoors! Enjoy that fresh air! If you liked this post please feel free to share with your friends!

– Maria Schmitz

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