DES MOINES — The chief of Iowa’s Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau is asking Iowans to mark Saturday, September 24th on their calendars to lend a hand with sprucing up our state parks.
It’s the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ sixth annual Statewide Volunteer Day and Sherry Arntzen is encouraging everyone who loves and uses our park system to sign up. “We have a number of different volunteer projects in some of the parks,” Arntzen says. “It could be putting together picnic tables, painting picnic tables, picking up trash, helping with some invasive species removal, planting trees, or staining other buildings that we have.”
There are projects planned all across the state at about one in every four of Iowa’s state parks. “So we have 71 state parks and forests. Right now, we have 18 parks that have scheduled events on the 24th,” Arntzen says, “but if people are interested in learning about other volunteer opportunities at some of our parks, we encourage them to reach out to the park offices direct.”
Arntzen says Iowa’s state parks are “beloved places for many Iowans,” and the DNR staff greatly appreciates the help volunteers provide. “We’re down a little bit this year on the number of scheduled projects especially since COVID,” Arntzen says. “We have a large increase in our number of guests that we serve in our parks, so we have been quite busy this year with just our day-to-day operations.”
Some of the projects can be tackled rain or shine, but if the weather looks inclement, volunteers should contact the individual park office in case of changes to the date, time or meeting location. To sign up, log on to: www.iowadnr.gov/volunteer
There are a couple of volunteer events in north-central Iowa:
== MacIntosh Woods State Park in Ventura has their event starting at 9:30 AM at the park shop, as they are looking for three-to-five volunteers to stain picnic table tops.
== At Pilot Knob State Park near Forest City, they are looking for 10-20 volunteers starting at 10 o’clock that morning to do several activities such as fall yard work, split firewood, and weather treat picnic tables in the campground