City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department


Various Locations Throughout DM

Preserve Des Moines' history and honor our community by helping maintain a cemetery block at one of our seven municipal cemeteries. Volunteers will adopt and maintain cemetery blocks from April to November. Duties include: picking up small branches, cutting back dead flowers, picking up litter, maintaining headstones, and reporting damage.

  • Volunteer Leaders: If you are wanting to be the main leader to adopt a block, please check the box below of your cemetery and block preference, then watch the orientation video with program instructions and details. Volunteer Leaders will coordinate with their friends/family/group or work alone to maintain their block(s). Volunteer Leaders will also report all volunteer hours (for themselves or group) to be included in monthly reports.
  • Volunteer Helpers: If you are helping someone who is a Volunteer Leader with an adopted block, please coordinate your efforts with the leader. Please check the box below for "All Cemeteries - Volunteer Helper" to complete your registration. All volunteers assisting with the Adopt-a-Block Program are required to register - this acts as digitally signing our waiver, helps us keep accurate records to show the support of our volunteers, and allows us to send updates to all relevant volunteers.

Please watch the mandatory Adopt-a-Block orientation video below:
Adopt a Block Orientation

If you cannot access this video, please reach out to and we will assist you on your orientation. 

For more information about Des Moines Parks and Recreation cemeteries, please visit

In order to comply with emergency proclamations by the Governor or Mayor, as such may be amended from time to time, and as public health guidelines evolve, for the safety of staff and the public, the Parks and Recreation Department reserves the right to cancel at any time. In addition, the Department reserves the right to change the registration requirements at any time. The Department will contact the volunteers as soon as reasonably possible with such cancellations or changes.

The City of Des Moines cannot guarantee that the volunteer or any of the event attendees will not become infected with COVID-19. Volunteers and attendees use the City’s facility at their own risk.

Sort by:
Have a password? Enter it here:

What's your email address?

Your information

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
Birthdate *

A valid date as MM/DD/YYYY (for example: 11/30/2015)
First Name *
Last Name *
Address *
City *
Zip Code *
Cell Phone *
Other Phone (Work, Home):
Please list your volunteer leader's name, block, or both *
What cemetery are you volunteering in? *

Are you a returning Adopt-a-Block volunteer? *
Which cemetery are you interested in? *

Are you willing and flexible to move to a high priority site, if needed? *
Note: If you are helping someone with their adopted block, rather than wanting to adopt a block yourself, please select the "All Cemeteries - Volunteer Helper" shift above instead of the "Adopt-a-Block Volunteer Leader" shift.
Are you 18 years or older? *
Parent/Legal Guardian Full Name *
Parent/Legal Guardian Cell Phone *
Emergency Contact Name: *
Emergency Contact Phone Number: *
Do you accept and agree to the attached Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk Agreement, and Photo Release? *


In consideration of me, or my minor child, being permitted to participate in any way in the above named Volunteer Program, I, the Undersigned, for myself and my minor child, all of my or my minor child's, personal representatives, executors, administrators, heirs, next of kin, successors and assigns, herein referred to as "Releasors", do hereby:

1. Acknowledge that this volunteer service carries with it the potential for serious injury, death and/or property damage, and certify as to my physical fitness and that of my minor child to participate and declare that neither I, nor my minor child, have been advised otherwise by a qualified medical professional.

2. Acknowledge, agree, and represent that I and my minor child will, at all times, be aware of the surroundings during the volunteer service and agree that if I or my minor child consider anything related to this Activity to be unsafe, will immediately advise the Activity officials of such, and if necessary, will leave the area or refuse to participate further in the volunteer service.

3. Waive, release and discharge, and covenant not to sue, the City of Des Moines, Iowa, its elected and appointed officials, employees, volunteers, sponsors, and agents, including others who give recommendations, directions, or instructions as part of this volunteer service, hereinafter referred to as "City", from any and all liability to Releasors, except for my minor child, for any and all loss or damage, and any claim or demands therefor, on account of injury to the person, including illness or complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, or property or resulting in my death or that of my minor child arising out of or related to the volunteer service, including traveling to or from the volunteer service.

4. Agree to Indemnify and Save and Hold Harmless the City and each of them from any loss, liability, damage, or cost that they may incur arising out of or related to my or my minor child's participation in this volunteer service.

5. Assume full responsibility for any risk of bodily injury, including illness or complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, death or property damage arising out of or related to the volunteer service. I agree to comply with all applicable safety rules, including wearing protective clothing, close-toed shoes/boots, safety goggles, gloves, and vest while performing my volunteer activities.

6. Agree that this Release and Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk Agreement and Photo Release extends to all acts of negligence by the City, not including gross negligence and willful misconduct, and is intended to be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by law including any governmental immunity afforded the City by law and that if any portion thereof is held invalid, it is agreed that the balance shall, notwithstanding, continue in full legal force and effect.

7. Authorize any medical treatment, including the administration of anesthesia, deemed advisable by any licensed physician to relieve any injuries received or illness contracted by me or my minor child as a participant in this volunteer service. I hereby agree to pay all costs of any medical treatment or emergency transportation.

8. Authorize and consent to the City, its sponsors, and any news media, and their successors and assigns and those acting under their authority, to take, publish, use in any media, and copyright photographs, videotape or other and audio or visual media, including broadcast in any media, of me or my minor child and agree that such may be used for any lawful purpose without further compensation or approval.