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, we also love when people reach out to us looking for opportunities. If you have the desire or a group of volunteers ready to go, let us help you find an opportunity, date, and time that fits your needs and schedule. Contact the watershed coordinator for more information on how to plan a volunteer event.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

April 19th & 20th- Earth Day Trash Bash

Earth Day Trash Bash, Iowa’s largest Earth Day volunteer event, is a collaborative project between the Cities & citizens of Des Moines, West Des Moines, Clive, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Johnston, Urbandale, Polk County Conservation, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, West Side Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Ingersoll Business Committee, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Water Works.

In 2018, more than 1900 volunteers helped clean up 75 project locations throughout the greater Des Moines metro with volunteers removing litter, beautifying public lands and cleaning out invasive species. They removed over 81,000 pounds of trash, recyclables, tires, metal and brush, along with almost 34 pounds of cigarette butts, planted 200 trees, and recycled 3,400 plastic grocery bags. At Easter Lake and Ewing Parks we had over 300 volunteers in 2018!

Be a part of Des Moines Earth Day Trash Bash working as part of a team or as an individual. Team registration is due March 30th.

For more information about this event including how to register and Friday and Saturday schedules please visit the Earth Trash Bash website here.

April 22nd – Earth Day: Help Protect Our Woodland Species

All living things on planet Earth have felt the impact of human civilization over the past century. Declining numbers of species and individuals have been documented across all kingdoms of life. Here in Iowa, our woodland flora is under heavy pressure from invasive plant species and need your help in restoring this habitat. Join us in celebration of Earth Day through woodland conservation efforts in an urban county park as we work to remove vegetation and brush threatening our native plant life. Come and go as you please between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wear long pants, sturdy closed-toe shoes, gloves (supplied if you do not have a pair), and bring a refillable water bottle.

To RSVP, please  fill out a volunteer application at apps.polkcountyiowa.gov/communityservices and sign up on the calendar provided through this portal.

Detailed meeting location, workday information, and equipment will be provided to those registered.

May 18th – Spring into Action: Endangered Species Day

Join Blank Park Zoo and Polk County Conservation as we work together to restore Iowa’s woodland flora. Invasive plant species put pressure on our native woodlands and we need your help in restoring this habitat. When we remove invasive plants we are helping our native plants and wildlife to flourish, plus the animals at the Zoo have the opportunity to enjoy a treat! Honeysuckle, an invasive plant, is one the favorites of animals in our care!

Spring into Action on May 18th to celebrate Endangered Species Day through woodland conservation efforts at Fort Des Moines Park and Easter Lake Park. Come and go as you please between 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Fort Des Moines and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.at Easter Lake. All ages are welcome to join us for this event.

Registration required. Detailed meeting location, workday information, and equipment will be provided to those registered. To RSVP, please go to the following link: http://signup.com/go/AQbQWTD

Wear long pants, sturdy closed-toe shoes, gloves (supplied if you do not have a pair), and bring a refillable water bottle.

Recent Volunteer Events

Yeader Creek Volunteer Clean Up – July 28th, 2018

In July, United By Blue and Active Endeavors teamed up for their first ever joint waterway cleanup in Des Moines, IA! Working with Polk County Conservation, City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, and Polk Soil and Water Conservation District we worked with volunteers to tackle the trash along Yeader Creek in Ewing Park! In total we cleaned up 1429 pounds of trash from Yeader Creek during this event.

This cleanup was one of 20 that United by Blue co-hosted nationwide this summer, from June-August, to establish community partnerships between their specialty retailers, conservation or municipal partners, and volunteers.  Learn more about their road trip accomplishments here.

Photos from the event!

Des Moines Earth Day Trash Bash – April 20th, 2018

This year as part of Des Moines’ Earth Day Trash Bash over 275 volunteers joined us at Easter Lake Park and Ewing Park to remove invasive species and clean up trash. The Easter Lake Watershed Project teamed up with project partner Polk County Conservation and the Iowa Natural Heritage foundation, and Green Iowa AmeriCorps  to lead this event.

For more information or to sponsor future Trash Bash events please visit https://earthday.dmgov.org/

Photos from this year’s event!

Woodland Restoration Work Day – March 13th, 2018

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On March 13th, Green Iowa AmeriCorps was at it again helping to lead volunteers at Easter Lake Park. Volunteers helped restore natural biodiversity to the park by being hands-on in the invasive species removal process which is vital to the survival of native oak trees. By assisting in the removal of invasive species, volunteers learned proper identification techniques, helped reclaim land for community enjoyment, and restore Easter Lake Park for healthy wildlife habitat. This event is one of many volunteer events Green Iowa AmeriCorps has helped plan and lead at Easter Lake Park in the last year.

 Woodland Restoration Work Day – November 18th, 2017

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On Saturday November, 18th we had a great group of volunteers working with Polk County Conservation and the Easter Lake Watershed Project to help remove invasive species and restore woodland areas around the park. Together with volunteers including families and individuals, Boy Scout Troop 98,  park stewards, and Polk County Conservation staff we were able to continue our goal of restoring all woodland areas in Easter Lake Park. Check out our photos from this fun day below!

Easter Lake Clean up

We’ve been seeing tons of trash and tires in the Yeader Creek and the lake bed and need some help cleaning it up! Join Polk County Conservation and the Easter Lake Watershed Project for a day at the park and help us on our way to improving Easter Lake!Please RSVP to julie.perreault@ia.nacdnet.net if you plan on attending! We need to ensure we have enough supplies for all our awesome volunteers! Thanks!
On Friday, meet us at 8am at shelter 4 at Easter Lake Park!

Easter Lake Clean up

We are on the way to cleaning up Easter Lake and we need your help! Join Polk County Conservation and the Easter Lake Watershed Project for day to help clean up trash and tires from the lake bed and Yeader Creek! We promise it will be a fun day!
It’s important we have enough supplies for the day – Please RSVP your attendance to julie.perreault@ia.nacdnet.net by June 6th

Des Moines’ Earth Day Trash Bash

Each year during Des Moines’ Earth Day Trash Bash event we have around 200 volunteers out at Easter Lake Park. Volunteers have helped us clear multiple acres of invasive species and trash throughout the park. This year with the lake empty we are looking forward to being able to help clean up trash and tires from the lake bed. Its has always been a fun and rewarding day that we look forward to each year.

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