Help clean up Iowa’s state parks on first day of fall

Images from Iowa DNR

Parks and forests across Iowa are offering Iowans the perfect reason to get outside on the first day of fall this year.

The annual Statewide Volunteer Day is Saturday, Sept. 23, organized by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Every park or forest will be different, and the work needed ranges from trail clean-up to park maintenance to painting and more.

“Iowa state parks are beloved places for many Iowans, and we greatly appreciate the help volunteers provide,” said Sherry Arntzen, chief of Iowa Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau.

To volunteer, you can learn more here. Otherwise, this is the list of participating parks and a quick overview of what projects are needed.

Iowa state park clean-ups:

Bellevue State Park, Bellevue

  • Work: Butterfly garden clean up, wood splitting
  • Requirement: Bring gloves, gardening tools, long sleeves, pants and drinks

Geode State Park, Danville

  • Work: Tree trimming and trail maintenance
  • Requirement: Bring sturdy footwear, gloves, safety glasses, sunscreen and water

Honey Creek State Park, Moravia

  • Work: Shoreline clean up
  • Requirement: Bring gloves, water and good walking shoes

Lacey-Keosauqua State Park, Keosauqua

  • Work: Clearing trails, staining picnic tables
  • Requirement: Wear old clothes, bring gloves, water and pruning tools
  • Five-10 volunteers needed

Lake Anita State Park, Anita

  • Work: Re-seeding the prairie
  • Requirement: Wear appropriate clothing for walking, closed-toe shoes, gloves for gardening or work, water
  • Six-10 volunteers needed

Lake Darling State Park, Brighton

  • Work: Staining benches
  • Requirement: Wear old clothes and light gloves

Lake Macbride State Park, Solon

  • Work: Trail Maintenance, pruning back the edges of the interpretive trail
  • Requirement: Wear old clothes, sturdy gloves, bring pruning tools if you have them, water

Lake Manawa State Park, Council Bluffs

  • Work: Lake clean up
  • Requirement: Wear clothes for walking, closed-toe shoes, gardening/work gloves, water. Trash grabbers if you have them, but it’s not required
  • 20-30 volunteers needed

Lake of Three Fires State Park, Madrid

  • Work: Park Beautification
  • Requirement: Wear jeans, gloves, closed-toe shoes, trash grabber if you can, water

Ledges State Park, Madrid

  • Work: Removing invasive plant species (trimming things back or digging them up)
  • Requirement: Bring water, sunscreen, bug spray, wear long pants, closed-toe shoes or boots, long sleeves, work gloves
  • Spots limited to 30, all-ages welcome but the project requires sharp pruning tools.

Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa

  • Work: Shore-line clean up
  • Requirement: Bring closed-toe shoes and appropriate clothing, water. Gloves and garbage bags will be provided.

Pikes Peak State Park, McGregor

  • Work: Campground clean up
  • Requirement: Gloves and a 5-gallon bucket
  • 10-20 volunteers needed

Shimek State Forest, Farmington

  • Work: Campground beautification, repairs
  • Requirement: Bring work clothes
  • Five-10 volunteers needed

Wapsipinicon, Anamosa

  • Work: Picnic table restoration (repair and painting/staining)
  • Requirement: Bring clothes able to be stained or dirty, water, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen
  • 20-30 volunteers

Waubonsie State Park, Hamburg

  • Work: Staining signposts and picnic tables
  • Requirement: Bring clothes able to be stained or dirty, water, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen
  • 10-20 volunteers

Yellow River State Forest, Harpers Ferry

  • Work: Painting
  • Requriement: Clothes that can get stained or dirty, bring water and gloves, tools will be provided


Nikoel Hytrek

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