Annual Volunteer Events

For Detailed Annual Event Information: 

In addition to monthly work days and various ongoing projects throughout our parks, Polk County Conservation hosts several larger annual volunteer events throughout the year. Click on the event tabs in the left dropdown menu for more details and to register for these events.

Trash Bash at Easter Lake Park

Kick-off Earth Day with a Bash in partnership with the City of Des Moines and other supporting organizations! Trash Bash begins with a rally downtown which includes sponsor & volunteer recognition, team introductions, educational booths to build a sense of community and cohesiveness to the day’s activities, and an opportunity to recognize the thousands of hours these volunteers will put in. After the kick-off bash and lunch, team captains lead volunteers out to their project locations for an afternoon giving back to the community.

PCC is typically stationed at Easter Lake Park & Strasser Woods State Preserve, clearing invasive plant species and removing litter during this citywide event.

When: Trash Bash is held on the Friday following Earth Day. 


National Trails Day at Jester Park

Make your mark on 1 of nearly 200,000 miles of trail throughout the U.S. this National Trails Day! Polk County Conservation, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and REI West Des Moines invite you, your friends, and family out to Jester Park for an afternoon and evening of volunteerism and celebration in support of our treasured public trails. Volunteers will lend a hand maintaining the trails in the afternoon followed by an evening of local food, drinks, live local music, yard games, door prizes, and more. 

When: National Trails Day is held on the first Saturday of June each year.

Trails End Fourmile Creek Sweep at Mally's Park

Strap on your boots or waders and get muddy with the Conservation team! In an effort to improve water quality, we will be sweeping Fourmile Creek for tires and other debris as well as clean up litter in and around Mally’s Park.

When: July 24, 2021


Moonlight Seed Harvest at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

Join Polk County Conservation and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation for a moonlit evening as we work to restore native prairie by collecting seed ready to harvest. No experience necessary and all equipment provided. Bring a headlamp (preferred) or flashlight. This event will be followed by a bonfire and s'mores.

Registration required. Contact for further information and to RSVP.

River Run Garbage Grab (R2G2) at Sycamore Access Boat Ramp

River Run Garbage Grab is a city-wide event that allows volunteers the opportunity to remove trash from the Des Moines River or along its adjacent trails - paddlers, rowers, power boaters, walkers, hikers, bicyclers, mountain bikers, birders, etc. are all welcome!

Volunteers can choose from many land and water-based locations. Polk County Conservation will be stationed at the Yellow Banks boat ramp along the Des Moines River.

Registration is required. For more information about this event, please contact