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

Time to Put on the Snowshoes

Check out these options

Jan. 16th 10am, Greenwood Park, Snowshoe Stomp

Jan 19th, Noon, Pappajohn Sculpture Park#1

Jan. 24, 6pm, Grandview Park, Snow Moon Hike

Jan. 30th, 10am, Pappajohn Sculpture Park Saturday Stomp

Feb. 8th, Noon, Pappajohn Sculpture Park #2

Feb. 10th, 3pm, Four Mile Community Center, Early Out Snowshoe Stomp

Feb 22, 6pm Ewing Park, Snow Moon Hike


If you are interested in trying out some snowshoes, register for one or more of these events and have some winter fun.  You can find more details or register at The fee is $5 for each event and the fee covers snowshoe rental, instructions and hot chocolate.  These programs depend on snow so dress for the weather if there is snow and stay warm inside your home is there is no snow.

If you have questions contact Joel at or 515-248-6369.

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