Welcome to Autumn!
More like "hello winter" am I right? Though we seemed to have skipped a season this year, it does not mean we didn't still manage to have some awesome groups help us with projects in our Department this past month. It also doesn't mean we aren't still looking for some help in different areas. Please read on to see more.
Des Moines Parks and Recreation is partnering with Des Moines Libraries to help create "Library Learning Bags" These bags will consist of simple arts and crafts as well as instructions to be handed out to children across their library system.

They hope to have about 700 bags from each organization that they partner with, that's where volunteers come in. We are looking for a group to meet at Ding Darling Shelter to help us knock out putting these bags together all at once. Our Environmental Education Extraordinaire will be leading the group and giving instructions on what materials to be put in each bag to allow the kids to put together their own Butterfly Seed Balls.
Come celebrate the season at the Jingle Bell Stroll! Walk along the holiday-themed half-mile trail where you will end by snapping a photo with Santa Claus. Snow will fall, holiday tunes will play, and you can pick up a Take and Make Pop Bottle Birdfeeder Kit to put together at home.

A holiday prop will be between you and Santa Claus to maintain a safe social distance when snapping a photo. Parents, relatives, or guardians, be sure to bring your phone or a camera to capture the holiday moment. Since you will not be able to chat with Santa Claus, we invite you to bring a letter (with your address listed) and we’ll be sure he reads before he departs for the North Pole.

All volunteers will need to fill out the volunteer forms attached to the shift and in order to pass a background check in order to help with this event. We also ask that you read through or volunteer COVID protocols attached to this shift as well. We will be asking all volunteers to wear a mask while they help as they will be interacting with patrons.
We are looking for Santa's helpers after our Jingle Bell Stroll by writing handwritten letters to children in our community!
We would like to write hand written letters back to them letting them know he received their letters. If you are interested in making some kids day please sign up. We will have a letter template onsite and instructions on what we are looking for. Bring your jolly self to this volunteer event! 
Remember our fallen U.S. Veterans and honor those that serve. This December 19 on National Wreaths Across America Day, the City of Des Moines Municipal Cemeteries, along with Arlington National Cemetery, will host a wreath-laying ceremony at Woodland Cemetery. We will be one of more than 2,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad. Through local fundraising efforts, we have a goal to lay at least 700 wreaths to honor all branches of our military. What began as one man's annual tribute to our veterans has inspired volunteers nationwide. To read the story, visit https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/our-story. There are 1000 veteran graves in Woodland Cemetery. Help us honor their stories. Please visit https://bit.ly/2020WAAVolunteer for more information and to sign up as a volunteer.
Wreath Donations: If you’d like to sponsor a wreath to be donated at the cemetery for the event, please visit Woodland Cemetery (IAWLCG)

Cemetery Volunteers, Kristine Bartley and Mike Rowley, shared a video calling our community to action to support the 2020 Wreaths Across America Program at Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa. If you would like to view the video, visit the following link.
Success! This year we hosted our first prairie seed collection events through the month of October. Originally only two Saturday's, the event had enough interest that we went for 3 in a row. Thank you for everyone who came up to help us harvest the prairie seed to be used by our staff in future prairie plantings to help create more biodiversity.
The Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service is dedicated to the late Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady. The inaugural Cady Day of Public Service on October 23, 2020 brought the state legal community together to honor and to celebrate the life and legacy of Justice Cady and his commitment to public service, access to justice, and civil rights. Our Department held two volunteer activities, one at the Birdland Marina helping clean the trail and the other at Gray's Lake helping remove invasive species. Thank you to Whitfield and Eddy Law for your help at Birdland Marina; and thank you to Ahlers & Cooney, Iowa Court of Appeals, and each individual that worked at Gray’s Lake.
Drake's Cross Country team came out to McHenry Park and helped collect trash around the park and the trail. They had 3 separate groups of 7-8 volunteers at each different location and helped for an hour. Thank you Drake's Cross Country Team!