Upcoming Events

January 15, 2019 – Easter Lake Update

  • Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
  • Izaak Walton League Clubhouse   l   4343 George Flagg Pkwy
  • Doors open at 5:30 PM   l   Presentation starts at 7:00 PM
  • Find our Facebook event here

Join us and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League for updates on accomplishments of the Easter Lake Watershed Project. This event is free to the public. Doors open at 5:30pm with dinner available followed by a 30 minute presentation at 7:00 PM.

January 19, 2019 – Timber Stand Improvement Volunteer Training

  • 10am to 2pm
  • Jester Park Nature Center, Classroom B
  • RSVP Required  create your profile and register at: apps.polkcountyiowa.gov/communityservices
  • Contact:  Pat Spain l 515-323-5280 or Melissa Schmeling l 515-323-5331

Calling all Park Stewards, Trail Ambassadors, and general Conservation enthusiasts! Strengthen your impact in our parks and along our trails with this workshop devoted to cultivating healthy woodlands throughout Polk County. The goal of timber stand improvement (TSI) is to improve the structure, condition, health, and growth of tree stands in our parks. Join us and boost your volunteer resume and abilities by learning all about managing desirable trees through:

  • Invasive management
  • Basic tree biology
  • Principles of competing vegetation
  • Removal and/or benefits of diseased/dying trees
  • Thinning, pruning, and release in natural stands
  • Post-harvest treatments

January 26, 2019 – Improving Water Quality in Your Own Backyard

Looking for something fun to do during the cold winter months? Each Saturday morning January through March, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden hosts educational lectures on topics ranging from bees to bananas. Each week includes two hour-long sessions starting at 10:30 am and 11:30 am.

On January 26th, join us and the Botanic Gardens for a presentation on what you can do in your yard to help improve water quality, pollinator habitat, and more. Additionally, John C. Tyndall from Iowa State University will be speaking on the Prairie STRIPS project.

February 16, 2019 – Volunteer Lakeshore Restoration

  • 10am to 12pm  
  • Easter Lake Park – meet at shelter #1
  • RSVP Required 
  • Contact:  Pat Spain l 515-323-5280 or Melissa Schmeling l 515-323-5331

By spring 2019 Easter Lake Park will be fully up and running featuring a new trail around the lake and will be open once again for many outdoor recreation opportunities such as boating, paddling, fishing, and swimming. Be part of the Easter Lake Restoration by volunteering and contributing to restoration efforts along the lakeshore. 

February 27, 2019 – Volunteer Woodland Restoration

  • 10am to 3pm 
  • Easter Lake Park – meet at shelter #3
  • RSVP Required 
  • Contact: Pat Spain l 515-323-5280 or Melissa Schmeling l 515-323-5331

Many amazing local companies, organizations, and schools offer Volunteer Time Off (VTO) as an added benefit for their workforce. This provides an excellent opportunity to provide those within their ranks with a unique way to create positive impact within their community. If your organization offers VTO hours, come spend it outside with Polk County Conservation in a beautiful county park!

Invasive species removal is at the forefront of restoration efforts in our Iowa woodlands. Spend your time on the front line of this continuous battle as we removal honeysuckle, buckthorn, and oriental bittersweet from Easter Lake Park.

March 23, 2019 – Rain Barrel Workshop

  • When: March 23, 2019
  • Time: TBD
  • Location TBD
  • Registration link will come at a later time

Did you know a large amount of pollution entering Des Moines water systems and Easter Lake is from stormwater runoff? One way to help manage this water is by installing a rain barrel, which in turn can be used to water plants, wash cars, and much more! This “make and Take” workshop co-sponsored by Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Des Moines Stormwater Utility, and the Easter Lake Watershed Project will be an opportunity for participants to briefly learn about what they can do to manage stormwater on their own property and then build their very own rain barrel. All materials and tools will be provided. Be sure you can transport your 55 gallon barrel home!

Common Questions:

  • Cost: $50.00 per registration (1 registration for 1 barrel)
  • Included in registration: Tools and materials to build one 55 gallon rain barrel.
  • Can I make more than one  barrel? Yes! However, you must register for each barrel you wish to take home.
  • Can my kids participate? Yes! Kids should be accompanied by an adult
  • Can someone else help me build my barrel? Yes! We encourage you to brings friends or family to help build your barrel. Just remember, you need to register for each barrel you want to take home. Registration fees pay for the cost of materials


Informational Events

Stay up to date with the Easter Lake Watershed Project by attending an informational event

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer With Us! Each year we have a need for volunteers to help us clean up Yeader Creek, Easter Lake and Ewing parks, remove invasive species and more. If you are interested in participating in an upcoming event check out the events below or Contact the watershed coordinator. While we work on planning events and finding volunteers to participate, … Continue reading Volunteer Opportunities