Iowa Master Naturalists – Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

**Please double check event pages and/or with contact listed ahead of time, in case of any schedule changes or cancellations.**



Turkeyfoot Folk School has volunteer opportunities in the areas listed below.  If you’d like to volunteer or for more information contact Carolyn Buckingham (IMN grad, Fall 2018) at info@turkeyfootfolkschool.org.  Thank you!!

Website development. We currently have a website, but need help updating it regularly — sending out newsletters to the listserv, posting event registration, creating a website-friendly calendar, etc.

Blog posts/newsletter content.  Along with website development, we welcome content contributions for blog posts and newsletters.  Topics might include conservation, seasonal information about what you might find in the prairies or the woods, simple DIY projects/crafts that involve nature/conservation, poetry, reflections on walks in the woods, etc.  We are also open to other topic ideas!

Volunteer grant writer. We are in need of an experienced grant writer, or someone who is interested in and has the time to learn how to navigate the process.

Helping at tabling events. Contact us for upcoming tabling events.  We oftentimes need assistance running an activity/project at our table. Our most popular activity involves creating plaster of paris animal track casts.

Do you want to teach/instruct a class/workshop?  We are looking for individuals who might want to impart their knowledge of the natural world or a particular skill or ability.  If you’re interested in teaching a one-time class or would like to become a regular instructor, please let us know!


Volunteers are needed for the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program (IMMP) at FW Kent Park. IMMP is a volunteer citizen science program that provides information on habitat, eggs, larva, and adult monarch surveys, as well as tracking fun things like parasitism and monarch survival by raising larva in captivity. This is a national program, with volunteers all over the United States. We need dedicated volunteers to make this program successful and would love for you to become involved in this research with us! Contact Frances Owen at fowen@co.johnson.ia.usor call 319-645- 1011 to learn more.


IMN is looking for a volunteer to help compile the monthly list of volunteer and advanced training opportunities.  Volunteer will be provided with a list of links to websites that advertise volunteer opportunities.  The job involves checking these websites for upcoming events, and then writing descriptions of these events to fit the established format.  This usually takes about 6 hours a month.  Interested?  Email Elisabeth at info@iowamasternaturalists.org



Sun, Sept 8, 11:00-4:00 PM(you don’t need to sign up for the whole time block)  Tabling for our Friends at the Sierra Club at the Annual Iowa Audubon Pelican Festival to be held at Coralville Lake2564 Amana Road N.W., Swisher, Iowa.  The Iowa City Area Group of the Sierra Club will be staffing a table and is looking for volunteers.  Contact jim_trepka@msn.comor Jim Trepka at 338-0005 if you can help. Note: IMN plans to have a “self-service” table at Pelican Fest, but if you want to make that a “staffed” table, I am happy to award you whatever hours you want to put in.  If this sounds like something you would like to do, email me info@iowamasternaturalists.organd we can arrange to get the IMN tabling materials to you.

 Sat, Sep 14 7:30 AM-3:30 PM Iowa River Clean up from Sturgis Ferry Park, Iowa City to Hills Access.  Volunteers of all ages are needed in canoes, kayaks, and on land to help pull tires, trash, and recyclables from this nine-mile stretch of river. A limited number of canoes, paddles, and life jackets are available free of charge. Registration is required by September 8th. To register, visit www.iarvcp.org. For paddling questions, contact Dan Ceynar at 319-321-1755 or ryangracel@gmail.com. For event/registration questions, contact Carol Sweeting at 319-541-2385 or carol-sweeting@iowa-city.org.

Sat, Sep 14 9:00 AM-Noon Tree Planting at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm, 706 St. Peters Rd. Marion, IA 52302.  Join Trees Forever, Indian Creek Nature Center, an Eagle Scout and other volunteers for a morning planting Paw Paws, Persimmons an Chestnuts. To register, go to: http://www.treesforever.org/plantfruitandnuttrees  For more details, contact Aaron Brewerat 319-440-7529.

Sun, Sep 15, 1pm Monarch Tagging (Conservation Education Center, F.W. Kent Park)
Join JCC to learn about Monarch Butterflies and take part in citizen science! An indoor presentation about monarchs will be followed by outdoor exploration to catch, tag, and release the butterflies as they pass through Kent Park. This is a free event. Pre-registration is requested; to register, email fowen@co.johnson.ia.us.

Sun Sep 22 1:00-4:00PM Tree- Planting Bicycle Ride Begin at Big Grove Brew Brew Pub  (101 Main, Solon IA) on a 20 mile bicycle ride in which cyclists make three stops to plant trees along the way.  As a reward for their efforts, bikers will receive a free drink ticket to enjoy a beverage at Big Grove Brewpub. This event is sponsored by Trees forever and BigGrove.  To register, or for more details, click HERE

Sat, Sep 28Time variable Litter pick-up, painting picnic tables, clearing trails, planting trees and more.  Celebrate the Iowa state park system’s 100th anniversary byjoining one of 40 volunteer events at an Iowa state park near you.  Volunteer activities and the time of day will vary a bit from park to park.  To learn more about specific events at a park near you, click on this linkto the Iowa DNR website.

Sun, Sep 29, 9:00AM- Noon IMN In-Group Woodland Workday at Kirkwood Elementary School(1401 9thSTREET, Coralville IA).  Join other IMN students from all classes as we remove invasive plants from the woodland at Kirkwood elementary school in Coralville, as part of the 5-year plan to make this little woodland an Outdoor Learning Environment for the school. You do not need to volunteer for the entire block–you can come and go as you please. Some tools provided, but you may want to bring your own pruning saws, loppers, pruners, or gloves.    For more information, email j.miller0611@mchsi.comor or phone 319-530-1403.  Thanks to Joyce M (Spring 2019) for organizing this event!



 Wed, Oct 2 10AM -until job is done,probably later in afternoon.Mussel harvest, counting and cleaning.  National Mississippi River Museum docks. Dubuque IA.  We have 16 cages to pull with 3 mussel species cultured (Plain Pocketbook, Higgins’Eye and Black Sandshell)  It’s a wet and muddy job so you’ll want clothes to either keep you dry or that you don’t mind getting mucky in. For more info or to RSVP, contact Megan Bradley at megan_bradley@fws.gov</src/compose.phpmegan_bradley@fws.gov>  or Darla Wenger at 608-689-2605.

Sat, Oct 59:00-Noon IMN Roadside Clean-UPMeet at the Amana Post office 4015 G St, Amana, IA 52203 (click HEREfor Map).  Join other IMN folks for this bi-annual, multi-class event.   We will spend the morning picking up litter, then gather for lunch at the Millstream Brau Haus.  Trash bags, and safety vests will be provided.  You should bring gloves, a “grabber” if you have one, and dress for the weather.  Thanks to Justin Voss for organizing this event!  Questions? Email info@iowamasternaturlists.org



Use your camera to for climate change research on gingko leaves.  Click HEREfor a link to an interesting volunteer citizen science opportunity brought to my attention by John D (Fall 2018). This is an ongoing opportunity so although some aspects of participation are no longer available this year, it is something to keep in mind for next year.

The Bur Oak Land Trustrelies on volunteers to work in their office and would love to hear from you! To ensure we make the most of your donated time, please let us know how often you would like to volunteer (e.g. once, twice, a set number of hours, three-hours-per-week, indefinitely) so that we can make sure you have the highest volunteer impact possible. Contact Tammy Wright at info@buroaklandtrust.orgor Susan Spears at susan@buroaklandtrust.orgto get started!

Indian Creek Nature Center needs Wednesday Warriors.  These volunteers meet each Wednesday at 1:30pm at Amazing Space to work on light land and maintenance projects such as mulching trails, weeding, seed collecting, etc. EmailJasonif you’d like to join in!

 Citizen Science Water Monitoring. Volunteers are needed toparticipate in a new study that will measure nitrate levels in the Clear Creek and Middle Cedar watersheds. Participants in the project, titled Citizen Science: Water Monitoring, will use a smartphone application to detect nitrate levels using their phone’s camera. For more information contact Chris Jones (christopher-s-jones@uiowa.edu or 319-335-0589) orclick here

Iowa Raptor Project. Various opportunities. Call 319-624-7178 or email shawn-hawks@uiowa.edu

Raptor Advocacy, Rehabilitation, and Education (RARE).  Various opportunities available.  For more information, go to:



Indian Grass Hillsis a 640 acre prairie restoration project in Iowa county.   Volunteers are needed on a continuing basis to help with invasive plant removal, prairie burns and other projects.  To learn more about this conservation effort go to:indiangrass-hills.org

To volunteer, email Judy at:jjfigh@mchsi.com

Bur Oak Land Trustneeds nature-savvy citizens to fill vacancies on various committees.  Contact Tammy Wright for more information at info@buroaklandtrust.org

Indian Creek Nature Center: http://indiancreeknaturecenter.org/get-involved/volunteer/


Wickiup Hill Learning Center: http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Content/Volunteer.aspx

FW Kent Park
: Kristin Morrow kmorrow@co.johnson.ia.usor call 319-866-8284

Rochester Cemetery(a beautiful prairie remnant): pkollasch@gmail.com

Hickory Hill Parkin Iowa City:Friends.HH.Park@gmail.com


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation:http://www.inhf.org/volunteer/http://www.inhf.org/what-we-do/protection/support-current-projects/

Take A Kid Outdoors (TAKO): http://takeakidoutdoors.org/about/tako-rewards/


Trees Forever: http://www.treesforever.org/


Iowa DNR:http://www.iowadnr.gov/About-DNR/Volunteer-Opportunities


The Nature Conservancy:



US National Phenology Network. Record your seasonal nature observations into a national public database that students, scientists, reporters, policymakers and others can access.https://www.usanpn.org/node/35


Firefly Watch Monitor fireflies and submit data to a central database https://legacy.mos.org/fire+flywatch