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

Bird Feeder Workshop

December 5th 10:00 am - Noon

Join us at the Boy Scout Cabin in Ewing Park on Saturday December 5th starting at 10:00 am to learn about birdfeeders, take a hike and then build your own birdfeeder to take home or give to someone special as a gift.  This program is for all ages but anyone under 12 years old is required to have an adult with them. We will start the program inside talking about some different birdfeeders and kinds of birdfeed that you can use to attract birds to your own home.  Second we will take about a 30 minute easy walk on the trail to find some of the birds that live in Ewing Park. The final step of the program will be when you will put together a nice cedar feeder that you can use to feed birds at your own home or even use it as a gift for someone special to you.  Registration is limited to the first 20 people that would like to build a birdfeeder and can be done at The fee is $10 for each birdfeeder built.  If you are interested in the program but do not wish to build a feeder, feel free to join us and there is no fee.

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.