Environmental Issues


Mission:  Ecology and biodiversity, education, and entertainment are all part of the mission of the zoo on Des Moines’ south side.  They have a variety of volunteer opportunities, including internships.
Contact:  Christine Eckles, Volunteer Manager
Address:  7401 S.W. 9th Street, Des Moines, IA  50315
Phone:  515-974-2551


Mission:  The Iowa Prairie Network is an all-volunteer, non-profit (501.c3) organization started in 1990.  We are a network of people dedicated to the preservation of our prairie heritage in the state of Iowa.
Contact:  Pam White, Region 6 Representative to the State IPN board
Phone:  641-673-3508


Mission:  The animal rescue league of Indianola.  Opportunities for volunteers include walking dogs, cleaning kennels, and office work.
Contact: Kathy Pfeiffer
Address: 1206 North Jefferson St., Indianola, IA  50125
Phone:  515-961-7080


Mission:  Help to maintain this beautiful facility so close to Simpson.
Contact:  Josh Shipman, Park Manager
Address: 16510 118th Avenue, Indianola, IA 50125
Phone:  515-961-7101


Mission:  Lutheran Services in Iowa responds to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service.
Contact:  Elly Gentry, Volunteer Specialist
Address: 3200 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311
Phone:  515-271-7387              E-mail: elly.gentry@LSIowa.org

LSI Urban Agricultural Support Volunteer (Refugee Community Services)

Volunteer will assist refugee gardeners preparing produce for sale at Farmers Markets. Tasks can include but are not limited to: Inventory the day before or morning of market and assist farmers with weighing and recording amount of produce harvested, helping gardeners measure plots/seed pathways at the beginning of the seasons and refuse from field at the end of the season and assist with plant cover crop, assisting with digging and planting (late June-early Oct), mowing pathways between plots and between fence rows, laying woodchips, turning compost pile once per week. Volunteer will assist with other tasks as assigned.

Time commitment: This volunteer position is seasonal (May-October). Time commitment and schedule will be mutually determined by the volunteer and supervisor. Commitment of six months to one year preferred.


Mission: The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
Volunteers: The Nature Conservancy of Iowa utilizes volunteers for all types of land stewardship activities including prescribed burning, tree and brush removal, native prairie seed harvest and exotic species control measures, etc.
There are two main ways to volunteer. We have scheduled volunteer workdays at our preserves. A list of volunteer workdays can be found on our website.  Most prescribed burning takes place from March-May and Oct.-Nov. and we can use help any day of the week. No previous training or experience is required.  Responding on short notice is essential because this activity is very weather dependent.  The Nature Conservancy of Iowa also has a paid summer internship for college students that is focused on land management.
Contact: Chelsea Carter, Operations Coordinator
Address:  505 5th Ave, STE 930, Des Moines Iowa, 50309
Phone:  (515) 244-5044

For general information contact our Des Moines office:
108 Third Street Suite 300, Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone:  515-244-5044


Mission:  The Prairie Learning Center facilities include a visitor center with book store, theater, classrooms and exhibit area. Miles of trails radiate from the Center. In addition, an 800 acre drive-through bison enclosure is also open. Teacher workshops, birding, hiking, biking, mushrooming, and wildlife watching are some of the outdoor activities featured for thousands of visitors each year.  Volunteer assignments at the refuge vary in duration and regularity. Hands-on stewardship activities (i.e. seed collecting, trail maintenance) tend to be single-day events that vary in length of time. Assignments that deal with public use of the Prairie Learning Center (i.e. information desk, interpreter) are more likely to occur at certain times and on certain days each week.
Contact:  Volunteer Coordinator
Address:  PO Box 399, Prairie City, IA 50288
Phone:   515-994-3400


Mission: Our specialty is to take dogs that others will not take. We are often their last hope. We specialize in any dog that needs our help regardless of breed, size, age or sex. Our mission is to continually strive for a focus on what is best for each dog. Second Chance Dog Rescue will provide each dog with love and compassion, respect and understanding and a helping hand to get through whatever issues each dog may have. We want to work with shelters, rescues, breeders and individuals to always give each animal what it deserves and in the end, a forever home that will cherish them as we do.
Contact: Denise Clark
Address: 4803 Lisbon St., Prole, IA 50229
Phone: 641-297-2137


Mission:  Maintain environmental integrity of surrounding lands.  Includes volunteer opportunities at Annett Nature Center.
Contact: Logan Roberts or Missy Smith
Address:  15565 118th Avenue, Indianola, IA 50125
Phone:  515-961-6161 Ext. 204 (Logan) or Ext. 206 (Missy)


Mission: Camp run by the United Methodist Church. Located just south of Indianola, Simpson has a great history of relationship with the camp and numerous Simpson students have volunteered with the organization.
Contact: Jessica Moore, Retreat Coordinator
Address:  10896 Nixon St., Indianola, IA 50125
Phone:  515-961-4523 Toll Free: 1-866-648-7753