A longtime West Des Moines leader will retire in the spring after more than three decades with the city.

Sally Ortgies, the city's parks and recreation director, is retiring on March 31 after service in various roles for the department over the past 34 years, according to a Monday news release.

She directed major city initiatives and was involved in bringing several high-profile new amenities to the community, including the Raccoon River Park Boathouse, the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater, the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex, new trails and public art projects. She also spearheaded the city's Five Waters Project, a quality of life initiative that began in 2019 that includes the boathouse and amphitheater, plus plans for a pedestrian bridge over the Raccoon River, trail connections to form a marathon-distance loop around the city and a renewed effort to protect the greenway around the Raccoon River.

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