Get to Know: Norwalk

Young professionals and families find Norwalk to be a great place to live and work. The growing community offers families a lot, including McAninch Sports Complex, Norwalk Aquatic Center, Norwalk Dog Park and Norwalk Outdoor Ice Rink. Major employers in the city include Capital City Fruit Co., a fruit and vegetable home delivery service, and Regency Care Center, while opportunities for activity are abundant. Norwalk boasts three courses in the city for those who love to golf, including Echo Valley Country Club, The Legacy Golf Club and Warrior Run Golf CourseNorwalk Hometown Pride ensures it brings neighbors together with events like Norwalk Music Fest, Front Porch Norwalk and public art.  

A lake with a view of houses

Norwalk at a Glance: 

  • Population: 13,609 (2021, US Census Bureau) 
  • Location within Greater Des Moines: South 
  • Distance from Des Moines: 10.3 miles 
  • Type of Community: Suburb 
  • School District: Norwalk Community School District 
  • County: Warren 

Norwalk in one sentence: Norwalk is a rapidly growing community with the same loving, small-town feel that our residents and businesses have known for generations.   

The top five best things about Norwalk: The people, the small-town feel, the partnerships between the city, school district and local businesses, its proximity to Downtown DSM, the Des Moines International Airport, Historic Valley Junction and Jordan Creek Town Center and that it is a charitable community, as shown through programs like the Norwalk Food Pantry and Norwalk Sants.  

Hidden gems and unexpected finds in Norwalk: Norwalk has an abundance of recreational spaces and opportunities to enjoy nature. Just to name a few: Elizabeth Holland Park, Great Western Crossing, Lake Colchester, the Dale Moffitt Reservoir and new paved trails. Norwalk also has some of the best eateries around! Local favorites include 804 Main, Wendy’s Ice Cream and Pyra Pizzaria. 

Community traditions and annual events: A full calendar kicks off over Mother’s Day weekend with the RUNorwalk 5K race. The Celebrate Norwalk bash over the 4th of July is fun for all ages, and Norwalk Music Fest, Shop Small Saturday and the annual Tree Lighting round out the Norwalk calendar. 

Best ways to get connected: Join the Chamber and get to know fellow members, attend a Young Professionals meeting or event, volunteer for a local event, attend a sporting event and cheer on the Norwalk Warriors and join Norwalk Hometown Pride, a nonprofit that brings neighbors together to build a sense of community, create and improve public amenities, and celebrate what makes Norwalk great.  

Big things on the horizon for Norwalk: Several new businesses are planting roots in the newly developed Norwalk Central. Plans for multiple restaurants and coffee shops, retailers and a new sports complex are in the works, in addition to the expansion of existing businesses. 

If you’re coming to check out Norwalk, be sure to spend your day … Swinging through Grounds Around Town for a great cup of joe and a homemade baked treat. Families should check out one of Norwalk’s local parks or playgrounds, including Warrior Park, which has an NFL Play 60 Challenge course – one of only three in the Midwest!) The Norwalk Eastern Library is a favorite, too, and if you’re lucky, you can catch their friendly mascot, Scribbles, hanging around! Tee up at one of Norwalk’s golf courses or swim at Norwalk Public Pool during the summer months. Norwalk has several restaurants in town to choose from! Try a new eggroll flavor at 804 Main or catch a game while having bar favorites at 1908 Drafthouse. Looking for something spicy? El Dorado has a great menu, and great service. 

Near Norwalk, you’ll find the charming town of Cumming. Middlebrook Farm and the Mercantile host events year-round. The Great Western Crossing trailhead is a great place to access the trail system that runs through Greater Des Moines. Hop on in Cumming and make sure to stop at The Chicken in Orilla for their Nashville Hot chicken and their epic patio. A proper trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to local favorite Wendy’s Ice Cream Shop, where the Kaldenberg family has been serving up their famous “whirl” for almost 30 years.  

Some of the ways Norwalk advances diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI): Ongoing trainings, workshops and women’s mentoring events are attended by members of Norwalk businesses and the community. The Norwalk Christian Church offers an ESL program, and they also provide education and support groups, including one that focuses on the LGBTQ community. 

image of a footrace