Polk County Conservation

Volunteer at the Nature Center

Back Porch (1)

Volunteers are Needed at the Nature Center

We are seeking dynamic volunteers to fulfill a much-needed niche at the Nature Center which affords volunteers the opportunity to give back to the community in a special way. Whether you are seeking an inspiring setting in which to give back to the outdoor community; are a college student looking to fulfill internship credit hours; a senior looking to enjoy retirement; or an instructor wishing to spend a summer in a county park setting, all are invited to share their unique talents and passion for the outdoors with park visitors entering into their adventure at Jester Park. Recruitment is taking place right now for volunteers interested in donating their time and talents at the Jester Park Nature Center

What Will You Do?
  • Welcome Visitors
  • Provide information regarding events and programs
  • Register people for programs
  • Direct Visitors towards trails, recreation location and specific habitats throughout the park

1) Complete the Volunteer Application available at apps.polkcountyiowa.gov/communityservices. Contact Melissa if you have questions regarding this application process or you will find a step-by-step informational guide under the Application section of the Volunteer homepage.

2) Choose a training date (below) that works well for you and RSVP to Melissa.

E-mail: melissa.schmeling@polkcountyiowa.gov 

Phone: 515-323-5331

Training Session Details

Registration is required for these training dates.

Trainings are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. We understand these dates and times may not be ideal for all. Please contact Melissa to set up a time and date that works well in your schedule if you are unable to attend one of the following dates. Volunteers MUST fill out and submit the Volunteer Application before attending one of the following training dates:

December 11, 2018

January 8 , 2019

February 12

March 12

April 9

May 14

June 11

Training will take place at the Nature Center and will include walking you through navigating the online volunteer application, how to access the calendar and sign up for shifts, opening and closing procedures, www.leadingyououtdoors.org and www.mycountyparks.com website tours, Nature Center and Outdoor Recreation and Wellness building tours, etc.

You are encouraged to view both Polk County Conservation and the Jester Park Nature Center website prior to your training session.

Volunteer Incentive Program (V.I.P.)

Jester Park Nature Center Volunteers are VIPs! This facility and Polk County Conservation depend on you! Without our dedicated JPNC volunteers, we would not be able to do what we do! That’s why we’d like to reward you. 


Park Bucks

Your JPNC volunteer hours will be tracked through the online calendar. At the end of each quarter (March, June, September, & December) JPNC hours will be tallied and park bucks will be awarded through a promo code to use on mycountyparks.com.

Park bucks can be used for any Polk County Conservation facility or environmental education event available on mycountyparks.com. This includes cabin rentals, shelters, environmental education programs including OWLS programs, bus trips, camps, and camping!


If you wish to receive camping in return for volunteer services, you may prefer this option. An average of 21 hours weekly volunteering provides you with a camping site with electric hook-up and use of the dump station and water service during the camping season. When our campgrounds close, we will provide outdoor storage for your camper.


All shifts are incredibly important. Our evening shift from 5-8 p.m., Monday-Friday, during our summer hours, along with weekends and open holidays year-round are our top priorities as staff will not be present.

Weekday shift = 1 park buck
Weekday 3rd shift & Weekend shift = 2 park bucks
Holiday shift = 5 park bucks
Note:  More information will be provided on redeeming your park bucks when they are awarded to you at the end of December 2018.

**Other PCC volunteer service hours do not apply to this program.

Contact Us

Administration Office
12130 NW 128th St
Granger, IA 50109

P: (515) 323-5300
F: (515) 323-5354

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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