Education & Volunteering
General Information

Urban Environmental Education

Reconnect with nature and your family!  Restore yourself and refocus your children by getting outside to enjoy the great outdoors.  Studies have shown that children are smarter, more cooperative, happier and healthier when they have frequent and varied chances to play in the out-of-doors. That’s only one reason why the Park and Recreation Department offers environmental educational programs for every age and every season.  
Environmental educational programs are based on hands on learning for people of all ages. The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department offers popular programs such as nature story hours, intriguing pond exploration, creepy insect investigations, seasonal hikes, snowshoe stomps, informative bird programs and more.

Additional outdoor programs sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department also include canoe classes and trips, a camping night at Ewing Park during STAR Party, eco-art, nature-based scavenger hunts and a “how-to attract butterflies” by gardening with native plants.  Visit Parks throughout the year to see what’s coming up in your neighborhood that would interest you, your friends and your family.

Education Events

STAR Party Aug. 15th starting at 6:00pm. Ewing Park by the Ashly Oakland Playground.

Free family fun activities from 6:00pm until sundown. Face Painting, Crafts, Stomp Rockets, Glow in the Dark Bracelets and more! Guest Speakers from the Science Center of Iowa and the Des Moines Astronomical Society followed by the movie, The Last Starfighter on the outdoor inflatable ovie screen starting when it is dark. After the movie, you can view the night sky through telescopes and watch for the Perseids meteor shower.

Tent Camping will be allowed with pre-registration only. Register to Camp here. Camping Fee $20 All proceeds will benefit the Lilac Arboretum in Ewing Park.

You can find future education events and activities by looking at our Calendar of Events.