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

National Public Lands Day – September 22nd, 2018

NPDL poster

Polk County Conservation, City of Des Moines, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District – IA and the Easter Lake Watershed Project are teaming up with community partners to celebrate National Public Lands Day on September 22nd! Join us as we tackle the trash in and along Yeader Creek, as well as invasive species and litter removal in Ewing Park.

  • When: September 22, 2018
  • Time: 9am to 12pm
  • Where: Ewing Park
  • What to wear: Please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet if working in the creek. Gloves and waders will be available in limited supply. Bring your own waders, boots, and gloves if you have them! For all work areas wear long pants, closed-toe-shoes, and bring a refillable water bottle.
  • Register Here
    • Registration is free, but we want to make sure we adequately prepare for all of our helpful volunteers! So, please register, thank you!

Before the volunteer work begins….

  • Arrive at 9am for event check-in and to peruse organization tables full of community info, events, and opportunities to get more involved with our public lands and conservation.
  • Before the event learn about the Easter Lake Watershed Project and join us for a build your own rain barrel and water quality testing demo by the Izaak Walton League.
  • At 12pm join us for door prize drawings! Prizes include vouchers for horseback riding, canoe rentals, and camping passes. Arrive before 10am to be entered into the drawing!

After the event…

  • This event will also showcase Outdoor Stewards of Iowa (OSI). This up and coming conservation-minded group serves as a place for Iowa Stewards with a passion for the outdoors to connect with local volunteer opportunities, conservation organizations, and others alike to better our outdoors and community.
  • Head over to Yellowbanks Park after the cleanup to join OSI for an afternoon of yard games and relaxation. Brats, hot dogs, and chips will be provided at 5:00pm.
  • Free camping will be made available at Yellowbanks Park on Saturday evening for current and potential Outdoor Stewards of Iowa members that participate in this event. However, space is limited so register soon Join OSI today by emailing outdoorstewardsofiowa@gmail.com and follow Outdoor Stewards of Iowa to learn more about how you can get involved.

Recent Volunteer Events

Yeader Creek Volunteer Clean Up – July 28th, 2018

United by Blue Blue Movement Road Trip

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

On March 13th, DSCN4949Green 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


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!

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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

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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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