ALERT: Full hookup sites now available at Arrowhead Park, Botna Bend Park, and Hitchcock Nature Center for $30 per night.
ALERT: Closure of L-55 Bridge over I-80 (exit 23) to Arrowhead Park scheduled for July 1st. May be closed through early August.


Volunteers play a special role at Pottawattamie Conservation parks. Whether you are interested in volunteering once a week, once a month, or occasionally for a special event, the opportunities are endless.

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.

Volunteers are currently needed to support the following programs:

Various Park-Related Volunteers

Our five parks all have slightly different needs, but generally include:

  • Greeting and assisting visitors, answering phones, registering campers, renting equipment, selling campfire wood
  • Assisting the park ranger with park maintenance including cleaning, tree cutting, etc.
  • Assisting the Natural Areas Management team with invasive species removal, prescribed burns, etc. - Certifications or training may be required.
  • Assisting Environmental Education staff with school and public programming -Training provided.
  • Assisting with various events for the public
  • Serving as a Campground Host

Environmental Education Program Volunteers

Assist our environmental education staff with the presentation of youth and adult education programs. This volunteer position involves work with the general public, including children. Volunteer duties may include running registration, assisting with lesson presentations, taking photographs, directing program attendees, and more. Volunteer opportunities take place every month allowing for some flexibility of scheduling. Volunteers choose the events they wish to assist with. 

Loess Hills Lodge Gallery Welcome Desk

Use your enthusiasm for nature as you greet and assist visitors, answer phones, and oversee the gift shop at the Loess Hills Lodge at Hitchcock Nature Center. Weekday and weekend daytime hours are available, and volunteers are welcome to schedule regular shifts or volunteer for individual shifts as their schedule allows.

The Oak Inventory Project

This exciting new citizen science program based at Hitchcock Nature Center aims to better understand a new disease affecting area oak species. Volunteers will be provided needed training to identify, locate, and tag oak trees throughout the park using a smartphone and downloaded application. Volunteers will set their own hours and perform volunteer work as their schedule permits with the exception of season sessions. We will be scheduling training sessions for this important volunteer project in 2021, watch for an updated schedule coming soon.

Hitchcock HawkWatch 

Join our amazing team of HawkWatch volunteers & help count & record migrating raptors from the top of our observation tower. This is a seasonal volunteer opportunity, with counting beginning in August & the official season running from September 1st through mid-December each year. Counting hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily during the season with half day & full day shifts available. Potential volunteers need to have an intrepid spirit, a love for birds, & a willingness to learn. On the job training is provided & novice volunteers will join our experienced volunteers until they are proficient. Due to the work station location volunteers must be able to climb stairs & be able to tolerate Iowa's fickle weather changes. 

Apply to Volunteer Today

To join our team of Pottawattamie Conservation please complete our volunteer application and submit it for processing. All potential volunteers will need to complete a background check prior to volunteering with Pottawattamie County. Please download and complete our volunteer application and return it today to start the process of becoming an official Pottawattamie Conservation volunteer.

Download the Digital Volunteer Application

Download the Printable Volunteer Application

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

Not able to commit to being a regular volunteer but still want to make a difference?

Join us for one of our public volunteer events! These are volunteer opportunities that are open to the public & do not require the completion of a volunteer application. Most events are family friendly and provide a variety of volunteer activities, from seed collecting to trash cleanup & everything in between. Volunteer events are held periodically throughout the season with an average of two to four events per year. These events are open to all interested participants and there is no additional commitment beyond the duration of the event.

Privately Scheduled Volunteer Projects: 

Civic groups, businesses, other organizations, and students looking to fulfill community service requirements or objectives may contact our Community Relations Coordinator for more information on scheduling a private volunteer project.

Private projects are available based on park needs and staff availability; as such, they may not be available at all times.  We request that you contact us at least three weeks prior to your desired date of service. Advance notice increases our chances of finding an appropriate volunteer project.

Stay connected with Pottawattamie Conservation.

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