Volunteers are needed to help kick off the Iowa State Parks Centennial with spruce-up events at three state parks later this month.

Melanie Schmidt, volunteer coordinator for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, says they’re looking for helpers on Saturday, March 21st.

Schmidt says, “A majority of the activities our volunteers are going to have the chance to do are mainly focused on land restoration of either native prairie remnants or they’re going to be helping with established prairies and woodlands and helping remove some of the invasive species that we don’t want in our park.”

No experience is needed and training will be provided that morning. Schmidt says volunteers only need to bring work gloves, a water bottle and a can-do attitude.

“We mostly just need volunteers to dress for the weather and, of course, the work that they’re going to be doing,” Schmidt says. “If they have gloves, that’s great. All of the other equipment as far as hand tools, we’re going to be using loppers and hand saws, those will all be provided. Basically, volunteers just need to come prepared for the work.”

Iowans who are interested in lending a hand are asked to RVSP on the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation website.

“They can go to www.inhf.org/events and they can find all three events on our website and decide which event they’re interested in,” Schmidt says. “It’s a really easy sign-up and then we have an idea of how many people we’ll be expecting.”

The events are planned that Saturday from 9:30 AM to noon at Big Creek State Park near Polk City, Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area near Cedar Rapids, and Volga River State Recreation Area near Fayette.

All three events will be followed by drinks and a social hour at nearby businesses.