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.**
Thursday, Aug. 19 and/or Thursday, Sept. 16 | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Native Plant Restoration Project in Des Moines
Help restore some of Des Moines’ most popular outdoor areas while also helping animals at Blank Park Zoo by restoring land for native plants by removing invasive species. After the event, organizers will take the plants to Blank Park Zoo where they will be “upcycled” into food for the zoo animals. An RSVP is required click HERE to register.
Sun, Sept 12 11:00 AM-4:00PM Pelican Fest at the Coralville Reservoir at 2564 Amana Rd NW, Swisher, IA 52338 across from the IA DNR Building. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up and tear-down, to direct parking, and to help visitors use the spotting scopes. This activity is sponsored by our friends at the Iowa City Bird Club. If you would like to volunteer, or for more information, call or text Karen Disbrow at 319-430-0315.
Saturday, Oct. 2 | 1-4 p.m. | Heritage Valley Fall Seed Harvest in Waukon. You’re invited to Heritage Valley, a 1,200-acre nature area near Decorah, for a fall prairie seed harvest. Together, we’ll hand-harvest native seed from Heritage Valley’s hillside prairies. Seed collected will be used to diversify and expand the prairie. We’ll kick the day off with conversation and a bit of background about Heritage Valley before heading out into the prairie. To register, or for more info, Click here
Iowa Raptor Project Birders who can ID raptors are needed to help determine a new banding site for the Iowa Raptor Project. Surveyors would be assigned in pairs to survey a location for 5-7 days. Survey time is 1/2 hour before sunup to at least noon. Survey dates will likely be the last week of September and first week of October. Director Ryan Anthony would like to find volunteers and make initial plans for fall 2021. If interested, please contact Ryan ASAP, at (319)624-7178 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ongoing many scientific institutions are in the process of analyzing data. Much of this can be done from the comfort of your own home. Sometimes the job is to watch a video and label behavior, sometimes it is to categorize the song or call of a bird or frog, sometimes it is to transcribe a handwritten to a digital form. Zooniverse is a clearinghouse of such projects. You can choose from a huge array of research projects and subjects. Normally, IMN requires volunteer work be done on species occurring in Iowa, but this rule is suspended during the pandemic so if you want to work on projects dealing with whales or tropical butterflies, or burrowing owls, you can count those hours just as you can count work on projects dealing with chipmunks, coyotes, or bluebirds. Go to https://www.zooniverse.org/projects?discipline=biology&page=1&status=live
Turkeyfoot Folk School may have 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 email@example.com.
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!
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. Email Jason if you’d like to join in!
Citizen Science Water Monitoring. Volunteers are needed to participate 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-335-0589) orclick here
Raptor Advocacy, Rehabilitation, and Education (RARE). Various opportunities available. For more information, go to: http://theraregroup.org/you-can-help/volunteer-opportunities
Indian Grass Hills is 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: email@example.com
Bur Oak Land Trust needs nature-savvy citizens to fill vacancies on various committees. Contact Tammy Wright for more information at firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com or call 319-866-8284
Rochester Cemetery (a beautiful prairie remnant): firstname.lastname@example.org
Hickory Hill Park in 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/
The Nature Conservancy: https://www.facebook.com/TNCIowa/app/179000048777433/
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