The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to help with a wide variety of jobs. Merry Rankin is director of Keepers of the Land, the DNR’s volunteer program. She says 108,000 registered volunteers were involved in the program in 2006. Rankin says many of the jobs involve "getting a little dirt under your fingernails," but there are also indoor projects.
"In our state parks, our volunteers do everything," Rankin says, "from assisting with removal of invasive species, keeping our trails maintained, building new trails, doing different renovation projects on our buildings, or they may build kiosks and informational centers for us." Other volunteer jobs might include river clean up, species monitoring, or helping restore prairie lands.
Iowans can browse the different volunteer opportunities on-line at the Keepers of the Land website . Rankin says there are both ongoing volunteers opportunities and one-time events, when volunteers are needed for just one day or a few hours. Persons interested in the program can also call Rankin at 515-281-0978.