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

Monarch Tagging

SARGENT Park-Tuesday, August 25 at 10:00am

FRANKLIN Community Garden - Thursday August 27 at 10:00am

Come out to the park and learn about Monarch butterflies and how their migration takes them between the Des Moines city parks and Mexico.  After a brief discussion we will see if we can catch some Monarchs in our nets on the flowers nearby.  The butterflies will be tagged and released to continue their migration south. Some nets will be provided for use along wtih tagging directions and supplies. No registration required.

If you have questions contact Joel at or 515-248-636.

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