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

Halloween Hike, Superheroes of the Insect World

Oct 23rd, Hikes Start At 6:30,6:40, 6:50, 7:00, 7:10 and 7:20

Celebate in a merry not scary way with this year's "Halloween Hike" October 23rd. The theme is Superheroes of the Insect World. Join us at Four Mile Communty Center on Friday October 23rd and allow yourself about one full hour from start to finish for the hike outside and more fun inside.

Cost is $2 per person and registration online is required. Register at

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.