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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

Join the Environmental Eduation Activites at the

Jingle Bells events held

Monday, December 12th at 4mile  Commnity Cener, 6:00-7:30 pm


Thursday December 15th at Pioneer Columbus Community Center, 6:00-7:30 pm

Environmental Education will be making Pop Bottle Birdfeeders and Butterfly Seed Bombs. Other activiies wll include:

Visit with Santa, treats and gifts from Target, jump in the bounce house, choose your own handmade knit hats, popcorn, explore the model train demonstration, Avon painting nails, Iowa Dance Theatre “Nutcracker” characters & Toys for Tots gifts.

Toys for Tots Registration starts:
Tuesday, Nov 1,
to register call 248-6316


Des Moines Audubon Society’s 2016 Christmas Bird Count
Friday December 23, 8:30 am

Please contact count organizer Denny Thompson at 515 254 0837 or cndthomps@gmail.com ahead of time if you would like to participate. Teams will be made and various Des Moines areas will be covered. If you wish to remain at home but still want to be involved, you may do so by keeping track of the birds visiting your neighborhood, in your backyard and at your feeders. Keep track of how many of each species you see during the day and at the end of the day, report to Denny.
The Des Moines Christmas Bird Count has been held since 1948 and the data collected is useful in monitoring bird population trends.

You can find more details or at www.dmparks.org

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.