Volunteer Opportunities

Restoring and protecting Easter Lake would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers that have worked with us to bring our favorite lake back to life!

Each year we have a need for volunteers to help us clean up Yeader Creek, Easter Lake and Ewing Parks, remove invasive species, take care of pollinator and rain gardens, and more.

We welcome all the help we can get! At past events we have had area businesses, schools, residents of the watershed, and lake users volunteer with us to restore our lake and watershed. See below for our upcoming events and other volunteer and stewardship activities to learn how you can get involved!

Upcoming Events

Invasive species removal is at the forefront of restoration efforts in our Iowa woodlands. Spend your time on the frontline of this continuous battle as we remove honeysuckle, buckthorn, and oriental bittersweet from Easter Lake Park to improve local habitat and biodiversity, reduce erosion and improve water quality! Learn more about woodland restoration in Easter Lake Park here.

No experience necessary. All equipment will be provided for the listed events. Dress for the weather. Wear long pants, sturdy closed-toe shoes and gloves (provided if you do not have a pair). Please bring a refillable water bottle. Registration Required.

Upcoming Dates

  • Earth Day April 24th @ 10am to 12pm at Easter Lake Park
  • These events are hosted by Polk County Conservation. Learn more about their volunteer program and find more information here.


What is the Adopt-A-Garden Program?

At Easter Lake Park, multiple pollinator and rain gardens have been installed to provide important habitat and protect water quality in Easter Lake. The Adopt-A-Garden program helps us keep these gardens looking beautiful and functional by recruiting volunteers to help maintain the gardens!

As a volunteer, you will help keep your garden healthy and vibrant through periodic weeding and other basic gardening duties as well as reporting any issues that arise.

As a volunteer you will help protect special gardens in our park! Why are these gardens so special? The gardens have been planted with native plants that require less watering and do not require fertilizers and pesticides. They increase the soil’s capacity and reduce stormwater runoff improving water quality in Easter Lake. Native plants also provide shelter and food for wildlife, promote biodiversity, and are beautiful to look at too!

How to Adopt a Garden

If interested in adopting one of these gardens contact Melissa at Melissa.schmeling@polkcountyiowa.gov.


Through Polk County Conservation, several programs exist for those seeking to have a larger impact in conservation at County parks including Easter Lake Park!

Whether you are a student looking for a more in-depth experience; a retiree seeking a fulfilling pastime, an individual passionate about the Iowa landscape and our natural resources; have a knack for construction; or any level in-between, park stewardship can help plug you into the right experience. This program offers tremendous ownership to you, the volunteer, and provides an invaluable service to staff.

What is a Park Steward?

A volunteer Park Steward is an individual who works independently or has the opportunity to lead other volunteers on scheduled work & volunteer days. Stewards have the freedom to work according to their own schedules or set up events in the park or along the trail of their choice. These individuals receive training and are also provided all the tools necessary to carry out stewardship duties.

Duties mainly focus on natural resource enhancements in natural areas such as invasive species control, wildlife/insect surveys, wildlife restoration, prairie and wetland seed harvests and restoration, etc.

How to become a Park Steward

If you are interested in becoming a Park Steward fill out and submit a Volunteer Application Form to Pat Spain at Pat.Spain@PolkCountyIowa.gov or Melissa Schmeling at Melissa.Schmeling@PolkCountyIowa.gov

Volunteer Application Form

Visit Polk County Conservation’s Website


Help keep trash out of our streets, watershed, and Easter Lake by participating in the City of Des Moines’ Adopt a Street Program. Volunteers such as businesses, church groups, families, or other groups can choose sections of streets they want to adopt and plan their very own cleanup events with supplies provided to them!

Learn more here…


clean water starts with you