The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, handed a $1.2 million dollar budget cut earlier this year, is putting out a call for volunteers to help spruce up Iowa’s state parks as the summer camping season winds down.
Todd Coffelt, chief of the DNR’s State Parks Bureau, is organizing Iowa’s first State Park Volunteer Day Saturday. “Does it help with our budget? You bet, but it gives the opportunity to people and visitors to be part of the answer for what need to be done to take care of these beautiful resources,” Coffelt said.
The volunteer activities will take place in nearly three dozen of Iowa’s state parks.
“We have over 34 projects around the state where our parks staff, at the local level, are organizing events – anything from picking up litter, to seed collection from prairies, to acorn gathering at Pike’s Peak,” Coffelt said. Volunteers could also be removing invasive plants, making building repairs, and painting picnic tables. Iowans who want to help may need to bring tools and supplies.
“It’s kind of a carry in, carry out approach,” Coffelt said. “If supplies are needed, we’re asking folks to bring those. Doing this volunteer event, we didn’t really want to raise any costs beyond what we are already challenged with, so we’re asking folks to bring their own brushes, hammers, bags, and gloves.”
Iowa’s State Park Volunteer Day is held in conjunction with National Public Lands Day – the nation’s largest one-day volunteer effort for public lands. For more information and to view a list of parks looking for volunteers, go to: www.iowadnr.gov/volunteerday.