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Volunteer Spotlight: Marty & Dixie

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 volunteers and Hitchcock Nature Center Camp Hosts, Marty and Dixie:

How long Marty & Dixie have volunteered with us:

Marty and Dixie have served as Hitchcock Nature Center’s campground hosts for the past three years, coming up every season from Arizona to help park staff keep a watchful eye and provide assistance and a warm welcome to visitors. In all they’ve been camp hosting for six years across Iowa and in South Dakota, sharing their love of the outdoors with campers near and far.
As a previous maintenance technician with the Omaha Public Schools district, Marty has considerable technical knowledge and often assists with repairs and maintenance needed across the park. Dixie retired from a decades-long career of working with the elderly and is always keen to help campers with their requests, answer their questions, and give notice of approaching storms.

Why they volunteer: 

“The staff and the people that come here to camp really respect the park and its beauty.”
Marty and Dixie have always loved to camp and enjoy their time together as well as the people they meet. Hitchcock Nature Center holds a special place in their heart because it brings them close to their family and friends, giving them plenty of opportunities to enjoy one of their favorite pastimes: playing cards!

What they've learned while volunteering:

Marty has had the opportunity to participate in county de-escalation and CPR classes and says the de-escalation techniques he learned have come in handy (as well as his experience as a bartender back in the day!). Combined with Dixie’s calm demeanor, they’re an unstoppable team that can smooth out any situation that might arise.
As avid campers of course, they also appreciate all of the things they’ve been able to learn about general camper maintenance as they are often visitors’ first call for help when things go awry.

Something interesting about Marty & Dixie: 

It never hurts to ask! After all, that’s how Marty and Dixie were able to snag the camp host position they enjoy so much every spring through fall. Three years ago they were camping (as they often did at Hitchcock) and noticed one day that the camp host trailer was gone. Marty decided to ask Park Ranger Chad Kunze, who said the position was open and invited them to apply. The next day they were moved from campsite 13 to number 1, where they’ve staked their flag ever since! 
If you want to know the way to their hearts, Marty loves old movies and playing cards, and Dixie loves pencil coloring and working on her family genealogy.

Volunteers like Marty & Dixie 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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