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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

Des Moines Parks and Recreation is helping Monarch butterflies and pollinators in our city parks and you can help too. On Saturday May 27th from 10 am to Noon, Parks and Recreation will host a Plant.Grow.Fly event at the Gray's Lake South East Corner Parking Lot. Sign up to be part of the program and not only will you help create the new Butterfly Garden at Gray's Lake, but you will make a butterfly friendly planter to take home with you on the same day. The first part of the program will involve learning about what pollinators need so they can survive and why they are so important to people. Second, participants will decorate and fill a flower pot they design to support pollinators and they will take it home with them that day. The last part of the program will actually be planting native Iowa species of plants in a new butterfly garden. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and do a little work to help out Monarchs and pollinators. Registration for this event is limited and the fee is $10 per take home planter created. Reserve your spot for this event at www.dmparks.org or for more information contact Joel at (515) 681-2027

May 27th    10:00am -Noon 

If you have questions contact Joel at parksEE@dmgov.org or 515-248-6369.

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