City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department

2024 Adopt-a-Block

Various Des Moines Municipal Cemeteries

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.

PLEASE READ - Volunteer Job Options:

  1. Volunteer Leaders: If you are wanting to be the main leader to adopt a block, please check the box below for "Volunteer Leaders" of your cemetery and block preference, then attend the in-person orientation or 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). We prefer only one main contact for each adopted block. If others are volunteering with you, please have them follow the instructions below for "Volunteer Helpers," as all volunteers need to register to participate. Volunteer Leaders will also report all volunteer hours (for themselves or the group) to be included in monthly reports. 
  2. 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 "Adopt-a-Block 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 program participants.

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, including maps, please visit

Questions: Email or call 515-250-4548.

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Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*). One of the fields below is a file upload/attachment, the file size must be less than 10MB.
Our Volunteer Vision is: Together, we grow meaningful community connections that celebrate our diversity, cultivate inclusivity, and inspire shared passion and purpose for enriching Des Moines’ quality of life.
We welcome volunteers of all abilities. If you require specific accommodations to participate, we encourage you to let us know in advance. We will do our best to provide reasonable accommodations to make your experience with us comfortable and rewarding.

To request accommodations or discuss your specific needs, please contact Parks and Recreation Supervisor, Callie Le’au Courtright at or call 515-237-1386.
Do you have any access requirements or accommodation requests you'd like us to be aware of? *
Please feel free to list any accommodations or allergies below.
Are you a returning volunteer with Des Moines Parks and Recreation? *
Birthdate *

A valid date as MM/DD/YYYY (for example: 11/30/2015)
First Name *
Last Name *
Address *
City *
Zip Code *
Cell Phone *

For example, 123-456-7890
Other Phone (Work, Home):
Are you a returning Adopt-a-Block volunteer? *
If you are helping someone with their adopted block, rather than wanting to adopt a block yourself, please scroll up and make sure to select the shift above labeled "All Cemeteries: Adopt-a-Block Volunteer Helper," NOT the "Adopt-a-Block Volunteer Leader." Please email with any questions.
If you are wanting to adopt your own block, please scroll up and make sure to select a shift above labeled "Adopt-a-Block Volunteer Leader," NOT the "All Cemeteries: Adopt-a-Block Volunteer Helper" shift. Please email with any questions.
Which cemetery are you interested in? Select all that apply. *

Are you willing and flexible to move to a high priority site, if needed? *
Food will be provided at the in-person orientation. Do you have any dietary restrictions? *

What cemetery are you volunteering in? *

Please list your volunteer leader's name, block, or both *
Are you 18 years or older? *
Parent/Legal Guardian Full Name *
Parent/Legal Guardian Cell Phone *
Emergency Contact Full Name *
Emergency Contact Cell Phone *
Do you accept and agree to the attached Permission to Participate, Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity 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, partner organizations and agents, including others who give recommendations, directions, or instructions as part of this volunteer service, hereinafter referred to in this document 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 therefore, on account of injury to the person or property, or resulting in my death or that of my minor child, including but not limited to illness or damage to me or my minor child’s property arising out of or related to the volunteer service, including traveling to or from the volunteer service and before, during, and after 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 to third parties that they may incur arising out of or related to me or my minor child’s participation in this volunteer service.

5. Assume full responsibility for any risk of bodily injury, including but not limited to illness, 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 Permission to Participate, Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement and Photo Release extends to all acts of negligence by the City, but excluding willful, wanton or reckless conduct, 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 and/or Emergency Responder (EMT) 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 for public display in any media now or hereinafter known and including without limitation on the City’s social media accounts, and copyright photographs, videotape or other audio or visual media, including broadcast in any media, of me or my minor child, including but not limited to those that capture me or my minor child’s name, voice, and/or image, and agree that such may be used for any lawful purpose without limitation or reservation and without further compensation or approval.

I have read the Permission to Participate, Release and Waiver, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement and Photo Release, fully understand its terms, understand that I have given up substantial rights of my own and of my minor child by signing it, and sign it voluntarily without assurance or guarantee being made to me and intend my signature to be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law, including all acts of negligence by the City as stated above. I agree that this Permission to Participate, Release and Waiver, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement and Photo Release will be IN EFFECT for 5 YEARS from the date of my signature and/or electronic submission, unless otherwise terminated by me in writing delivered to the City.