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Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Chris, Our Friendly Welcome Desk Ambassador!

Join us as we shine a light on Pottawattamie Conservation volunteers to thank them for their time and talents and recognize the difference they make in our community. Our volunteers ROCK!

Below, take a moment to meet Pottawattamie Conservation volunteer and Hitchcock Nature Center Welcome Desk Volunteer, Chris:

How Long Chris Has Volunteered With Us:

Chris started volunteering her time in 2019 and is coming up on her three year anniversary with us! During her time she’s helped in many capacities, including serving as a *Welcome Desk Ambassador at Hitchcock Nature Center’s Loess Hills Lodge gallery and helping lead summer camps, child-focused programming, our annual Maple Tree Tap event at Botna Bend Park, and HawkWatch events.

As a nature lover, she has always been concerned about our environment and an advocate for conserving and protecting natural areas. Hitchcock Nature Center was one of the first places she visited when she moved to the area eight years ago and she fell in love with it immediately. In fact, she says the park inspired her to get her Nebraska Master Naturalist certification in 2014.

“The commitment and energy of the staff to conserve this hidden gem we have in the Loess Hills is truly inspiring to me. I also believe that true conservation begins with educating the people and especially the children about our natural resources. Being part of that is very rewarding.” — Chris

*Are you the kind of person who enjoys interacting and connecting with the public, but appreciates some downtime too? We are currently in need of Welcome Desk Ambassadors who help run the Loess Hills Lodge gallery and welcome guests, answer questions, provide recommendations, and process payments for gift shop items, park passes, and more. If this sounds like something you're interested in helping us with, please fill out our volunteer application here. Thank you!

What Chris Has Learned While Volunteering:

“Every time I come here I learn something new.”

Chris said she has appreciated learning about native plants and the Loess Hills, what it takes to properly manage the land so wildlife can thrive (including us!), and why there’s a need for conserving land and all the work it takes to maintain it.

Something Interesting About Chris:

It takes a special person to work in the social care field, and Chris did just that for 30 years. From supporting teen parents to working in child protective services and overseeing long-term care and hospice patients, she was there in many families’ deepest times of need. Knowing that, it shouldn’t surprise you that Chris strongly believes that everyone needs to be cared for sometimes and deserves good care and to be understood. She also used to be a high-intensity aerobics teacher and would volunteer her time leading Sandhill Crane bunker tours in Alda, Nebraska.

Thank you for all you do to make Hitchcock Nature Center a friendly and welcoming place, Chris!

Volunteers like Chris make a huge difference for our small organization by keeping our parks beautiful, providing a great experience for visitors, and supporting local conservation efforts that protect wildlife, pollinators, and us humans, too! Their dedication, along with all of our other amazing volunteers, allows us to reach more people about the importance of natural spaces and be good stewards of the land. We truly couldn't do it without our passionate volunteers and can't thank them enough for everything they do to support conservation work.


Explore Volunteer Opportunities & Apply Today

We are always looking for new faces to help us keep Pottawattamie Conservation parks beautiful and educate the public. Whether you prefer outdoors or indoors, our volunteer opportunities provide impactful ways for you to make a difference, connect with nature and support our community.

Regular volunteers have the option of setting their own schedule and are rewarded with educational opportunities and other benefits. Volunteers also receive an annual park permit and a discount on gift shop merchandise as a thank you for their efforts.

For more information on volunteer opportunities or to schedule a private volunteer project please contact Dana Kruse, Volunteer and Facilities Coordinator at (712) 545-3283 or email him at


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