City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department


July 16th - September 17th, 2020
Gray's Lake

UPCYCLE volunteers, in partnership with the City of Des Moines, Blank Park Zoo, Trees Forever, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Confluence Brewing. Help us improve our water quality, diversify our woodlands and UPCYCLE our invasives into food and fun for Blank Park Zoo’s birds, reptiles, primates and mammals. Volunteers will be provided gloves and tools to cut, remove and treat invasive plants crowding out our woodlands and natives. The first 20 volunteers that attend will get a drink ticket to be redeemed following the workday at Confluence Brewing next door!

Gray’s Lake Park is a beautiful area but the native species in the woodlands are competing with many invasive species such as honeysuckle. These invasive species shade out our natives and dominate the floor. We are working hard to open up the woodlands, bring back the natives and increase diversity making them healthier. There are even added benefits reaching out beyond our woodlands as native species do a better job of holding the soils together and keeping them in place preventing them from running off into our creeks and streams. Although we don’t need these invasive species in our woodlands, they’ll help fill needs at the Blank Park Zoo where animals can use them for food, play, and practice foraging, flying, and other skills.

There will be new changes to our event this year in order to keep everyone safe and healthy, while still having fun and doing great conservation work! Please feel free to bring your own tools, work gloves, face mask, hand sanitizer, etc. if you'd like; but we will provide all tools, work gloves, and PPE (including disposable face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant) if you do need them. You will be asked to wear a face mask when receiving instructions, but you do not need to wear a mask while working. We recommend wearing long pants and closed-toe shoes, and please bring your own reusable water bottle. We will have a water cooler available. Although we deeply miss our volunteers, we will ask for participants to do their best to stay 6 feet from staff and other volunteers when possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please email parksvolunteer@dmgov.org

Call 248-6399 or text DSMVOLUNTEERS to 84483 to sign-up for weather-related updates.

There are no shifts available at this time.

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