Stowe Heights

Stowe Heights Challenge Course is managed by Community Youth Concepts (CYC). The course will open in late summer 2020 and will be available for groups by appointment.

Similar activities can be booked for your group throughout the winter.

Operating as usual

Had a great time breaking in the low course with Iowa State Gymnastics.

Shout out to this gentleman right here who has been putting in hours helping Stowe Heights finish up some landscaping. Mandela’s hands are a set of the many we are thankful for.

A beautiful sight to see these evergreens going in the ground. Beyond grateful to Lawn Ranger Lawn Care - Des Moines for the huge assist.

Another fantastic day at Stowe Heights!!! This time we had the honor of working with this amazing group of Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. They found out how a positive mindset can be a foundation to success. They also dug deep and found some grit and focus that made for an incredible day. Thank you to Julie Betts and Amy for bringing their troop out.

What a beautiful day in October to be on the course at Stowe Heights working with this youth philanthropist board. UVoice is a group of 15 high school students who have come together to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in Central Iowa. It was a pleasure to be a part of their program this year.

Big shout out to this volunteer group from Walnut Creek Church -downtown. They did some heavy lifting and planted 4 trees, 3 shrubs and helped spread grass seed and compost. This is a big deal and we are so grateful for the hard work.

Stowe Heights visited the Cherry Glen Learning Farm today to pick up some compost and walked away with so much more! Feeling inspired. Ray Meylor gave us a tour and even let us try some produce as we learned about watershed mitigation. *warning: the “You’re On Your Own” Peppers are hot!

It is tree planting season and Stowe Heights is getting ready! Thank you to Trees Forever for helping Stowe Heights source these new additions.

Stowe Heights staff had a great time with this U12 Softball team out of Ankeny this past weekend. After a week of rain, it felt great to get back outside.

Stowe Heights will be open through October for the 2020 season. There is still time, but the schedule is filling fast.

For more information about the Stowe Heights experience, contact [email protected] or visit our website at

Stowe Heights's cover photo

Stowe Heights's cover photo

Stowe Heights Challenge Course has lift off!

We had the privilege of working with the fantastic Youth Leadership Initiative of Des Moines class of 2020-21 over the weekend. What an amazing group of young people.

After a summer challenged by COViD-19, our amazing facilitators had the opportunity to show what they could provide and they delivered.

Stowe Heights is proud to provide quality socially distanced programming to the Greater Des Moines area that will enhance and reflect the goals of individual groups. For more questions and to schedule your group today, please contact [email protected]

Stowe Heights Challenge Course is a program of Community Youth Concepts

It has been a busy few weeks (so busy we haven’t had time to share updates!) And then there was a derecho!

Thank you to the helpers and neighbors we got to meet while cleaning up. We know there is still a lot of clean up to do on the East side. A staff member will be out at the course this afternoon from 3-6 pm to answer questions about the course. If anyone could use a little assistance in the neighborhood, reach out!

Yesterday Dubuque Ave. was blocked just East of the course due to a downed power line so use caution and stay safe!

Thank you Iowa Poison Ivy Removal for today’s adventure! Dan, Kelsey and Alec removed lots of poison ivy on the property starting with this healthy female vine and the seeds that birds like to feed on and spread.

Stowe Heights: Painting Equipment Shed

We are looking for a few volunteers to help paint the equipment shed at Stowe Heights this coming Wednesday, July 29th from 9-11 AM. If you are available and would like to help out, please register through the Sign-up Genius link below. Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. Thank you!

We began this week with our facilitator training and end it with a sided shed and a sign waiting to be installed. 🙌

A huge thank you goes out to everyone that helped raise this shed under the leadership of Mr. Ben Molloy.

Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy at the University of Iowa

Today we'd love to highlight another nonprofit, Community Youth Concepts!

This has been a tough year for an inaugural opening and yet with the help of volunteers and our community, Community Youth Concepts (CYC) continues to make progress towards the launch of the brand new Stowe Heights Challenge Course. CYC's mission is to engage and connect Iowa students through youth development programming and to provide coaching, training, and technical assistance in best practices to youth-serving non-profits.

CYC plans to carry that mission forward with the development of Stowe Heights. Challenge course programming has long been an effective tool in team development, engagement, creative problem solving and building self-efficacy. The impact of COViD-19 on our communities has reinforced the value of the challenge course process and best practices. In these unprecedented times, it is not hard to draw from the experience and ask how it can be applied back in the real world.

Learn more by contacting [email protected] or visiting and

CYC is hiring! Want to work with young people? Want to incorporate a challenge course into your life? 😊

Community Youth Concepts is hiring a Program Facilitator who will facilitate programming with upper elementary, middle and high school students to enhance the development of social-emotional and workforce skills by providing opportunities for youth and adults to work together, apply academic learning, and provide youth-directed service to the community.

If you, or someone you know, is passionate about working with youth and providing them with opportunities to learn skills that will help them succeed in school, work, and life - please apply! The position description and more information is available on our website:

Stowe Heights

Such an awesome day!!

And it’s wheels(chair) up on the closing day of facilitator training! Thank you to Experiential Systems, Inc. for this build and training.

And it’s wheels(chair) up on the closing day of facilitator training! Thank you to Experiential Systems, Inc. for this build and training.

If you need groceries, don’t forget this opportunity!

For the months of July-September, every time you use your own reusable bag at Whole Foods Market, you'll be supporting Community Youth Concepts with the One Dime at a Time program! These funds will go to support our CYC leadership development opportunities at the Stowe Heights Challenge Course when it opens this summer!

Day 1 of Stowe Heights Challenge Course training! Getting closer every day!

Thank you for amazing Bobcat drivers.

A big thank you to the Neas family and this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail for making a visit to Stowe Heights today! This is hard work and they made it all more fun.

3 cheers for Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Energy & Community and Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools!! Planting and watering and tackling the last of 3 truck loads of mulch!
Forever thankful for the hard work and for Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity for the wheel barrows!

CYC 2020 Summer Volunteers

Would you like to be added to a contact list for summer volunteering with Community Youth Concepts? The link to the google form is attached for ongoing contact.

If you would like to go straight to sign-up genius and register for this week's opportunities, here is that link: We are in the process of creating volunteer opportunities that individuals and families can do while maintaining social distancing. We anticipate most of these opportunities will be outdoors either at CYC or the Stowe Heights Challenge Course! If you are interested in being on a list of volunteers t...

One more step completed! A shout-out to our families who are helping us make this real.❤️ Next up: wooden fence per city requirements.

Who's in for some team building? We have your first initiative coming up this Friday and available through July 3rd! Head on down to Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewery. See below for details! Raising money for Stowe Heights. #goteam #thankyou #DMAF2020 @courtavebrew #keepthewholeteamsafe #inthistogether

We've got exciting news Des Moines! 😁😁😁
THIS FRIDAY, June 19th we will be introducing a new official Des Moines Arts Festival craft brew 👉🏼The Hazy Henry IPA👈🏼 + tapping our beloved Grapefruit Rattler! ❤️🐍 What's the REALLY EXCITING part you ask⁉️ We will be donating $1 per beer sold to Stowe Heights in support of the Stowe Heights Challenge Course Art Initiative, one of the Festival's longtime non-profit partners that will be directly impacted because of the cancellation of the 2020 Arts Festival.
Get down to the brewpub #ThisFriday thru July 3rd to give these delicious brews a try + support a great cause! #HowDoYouCABCo 😋🍺
#craftbeer #drinklocal #cheers #independentbeer #eatdrinkparty #cabco #courtave #beer #iowabeer #localbeer #desmoines #downtowndesmoines #downtowndsm #dsm #desmoinesartsfestival #stoweheights #SHCC

Teamwork makes the dream work! Thank you to AmeriCorps Green Iowa for all the hard work today planting natives and hauling mulch! Making progress as we move towards opening.

Asiatic day flower. Blooms only one day. Invasive, of course, but neat nonetheless.

Progress made over the weekend! The equipment shed has shingles and is anchored, the first layer of asphalt is down and lawn is on the schedule for mowing!

After concrete is laid tomorrow, we will let that cure for a week and then it will be a green light for plantings, wood chips, siding, and painting. Lots of fun work ahead.

We have a visitor today. Where might she live?

CYC 2020 Summer Volunteers

So much is going on in the next month at Stowe Heights, if you are interested in helping out, please fill out this google form and we’ll be in touch. We are in the process of creating volunteer opportunities that individuals and families can do while maintaining social distancing. We anticipate most of these opportunities will be outdoors either at CYC or the Stowe Heights Challenge Course! If you are interested in being on a list of volunteers t...

Where's Stowe Heights? On the east side of Des Moines hidden in these old growth trees! Aren’t they beautiful?

Another volunteer opportunity coming up is assisting with moving wood chips for trail development and leveling the area under the course.

We would love to practice social distancing with volunteers in these woods. Estimated dates for this project will be the week of June 15th when we will be working with Top Notch Tree Care for the wood chips.

For more information or if you would like to be added to our contact list, please contact [email protected]

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