Letter to the Editor

Green volunteer opportunities

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring a bloom of green volunteer opportunities for the coming summer. Environmental Okoboji is a collaborative of area environmental educators, and we would like to share information with you about these opportunities.

John Wills of the Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance will be organizing a spectacular shoreline re-vegetation event at the end of June, and will need at least 100 volunteers! He hopes to have over 1700 feet of shoreline re-vegetated with bulrushes and other plants. This will stabilize shorelines, prevent erosion, improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat and fish nurseries. Contact John at 336-3782 Ext 3 to sign up.

Do you have an outdoor skill, such as fishing or animal tracking, or a special nature interest, such as plant or insect identification, that you would like to share with the public? If so, the local the DNR Parks Service is looking for volunteers to help with summer environmental education programs at area state parks. Contact Heath Gravert (712) 337-3211.

If you are interested in water quality monitoring, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and the Dickinson County Conservation Board have opportunities for you. The Conservation Board coordinates stream monitoring through the IOWATER program. Contact Charles Vigdal for information (712) 331-1493.

If you like being out on the lakes, you can join the Cooperative Lakes Area Monitoring Project, and become a CLAMPologist. You can sign up for one of five free training workshops to be offered at Lakeside Lab on May 23 at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m., or the following day May 24 at 1 p.m., or May 30 at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. To register, contact Jane Shuttleworth at (712) 337-3669, Ext 7 or lakesidejane@yahoo.com.

If you would like to learn about aquatic invasive species and help prevent their spread by being a boat ramp volunteer, Kim Bogenschutz, Iowa DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator will be giving two training workshops at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory on May 23 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Contact Jane Shuttleworth to register. For other training opportunities later in the summer, e-mail watersafety@longlines.com.

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, and is looking for volunteers to become docents and staff the visitor's center. Contact Marta Barnard, Lakeside Centennial Jublilee Coordinator, for more information at martha-barnard@uiowa.edu,

If you like working outdoors and learning about ecology and native plants, Lakeside invites you to join the Coffee and Grounds Committee. They meet at 8:30 a.m. every Tuesday morning through snowfall to restore natural ecosystems and native plant gardens on the Lakeside campus.


Heath Gravert, DNR Parks

Jane Shuttleworth, Education Coordinator, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

Peter van der Linden, Director, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

Charles Vigdal, Naturalist, Dickinson County Conservation Board

John Wills, Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance