We LOVE our volunteers.

We have opportunities for volunteers of all kinds. Whether you are looking to be “on call,” have interest in a specific project, have a unique skill set to offer, or want to volunteer on a regular basis, we’d love to have you! Let us know what you’re interested in by completing the Volunteer Application. 

Click to find a list of special events where you can volunteer throughout the year.

Our volunteers make our mission possible — we couldn’t do it without them.

If you love nature, teaching kids, getting out on the land, or simply lending a helping hand, Indian Creek Nature Center is your place! ICNC’s important work would not be possible without volunteers. They share their unique talents and enthusiasm with an eagerness to learn. Volunteers unselfishly add an amazing source of energy and community support. From school field trips or special events to daily operations and land stewardship, all aspects of the Nature Center are enriched by the dedication of our volunteers.

We have opportunities that align with varying interests and skill sets:

If you want to share your love of nature with the next generation, consider becoming a teacher-naturalist (TN)! TN’s lead students of all ages on field trips at The Nature Center during the school year on weekdays between 9am-3pm. You do NOT need to be a teacher to be a teacher-naturalist! TN’s onboard primarily at the end of August for fall and mid-February for spring. Training is provided and you must be willing to volunteer a minimum of 12-15 hours per month September-May.

When you donate your time to Creekside Forest School you will: explore the outdoors in all weather with preschoolers, support teachers with general classroom help (snacks, materials, etc.), provide reassurance or support to children who need it, participate in songs and games and activities, and build relationships with students and their families. 

Volunteers are needed during the morning session (8:30am-11:30am) and the afternoon session of preschool (12:30pm-3:30pm) on Tuesdays-Fridays September-May. Potential volunteers must pass a paid background check and attend a 60 minute orientation before actively volunteering with the school. 

Similar to our Teacher-Naturalist program, Scout Program leaders provide quality programming for area scouts. Not an expert? That’s ok – we provide training!

Come be a part of our land team. Work varies with the season and may include planting, weeding, invasive removal, chainsawing, mulching, and more! Come get your hands dirty!

Whether you enjoy painting, building, or lifting heaving objects, there is always a project going on! Some examples include setting up for events, installing outdoor signage, and winterizing our outdoor classroom.

Volunteers often staff booths at area events. This is a fun way to interact with the public while sharing your love of the Nature Center’s mission.

Our office is a busy place year-round! Occasionally we need help with data entry, shop inventory and more.

Join a group of committed volunteers whose efforts are directed to raising funds for ICNC through the annual Spring Plant & Art Sale and Nature’s Noel. 

Our annual events and ongoing programs are always a great place to get started volunteering. Join us for the Maple Syrup Festival (March), Spring Plant and Art Sale (May), Creek Camps (June, July, August), Monarch Fest (July), Women in Nature (October), Nature’s Noel (December), and more.

Service Learning Experiences are designed for middle school and high school age students.

Projects vary by season and include an educational component.  One example could be removing invasive species, including learning about the history of the species, where it is native to, how it came to Iowa, ways that invasive plants spread, how to prevent spreading them, the threats these species pose to native habitats, control measures, and the nation-wide prevalence of some species. If you are studying specific concepts in the classroom and would like us to include them in your Nature Center field experience, please contact us.

Volunteer Contact:

Sarah Botkin | Amazing Space Manager & Interim Director of Education | 319-362-0664

Please note: Some positions, such as those involving interaction with children, also require references and background checks.

“I have volunteered at the Nature Center for decades, so obviously it calls to me! The Nature Center is “my place.” It has everything for volunteers – great people, abundant learning opportunities, variety, and the chance to be a part of nature. When I spend time there I don’t just help in my community, I have a great time. I can’t imagine a week without my fix.”
– Mary Kopecky, Volunteer
“An essential part of my experience has been to learn from the great staff, fellow volunteers, and yes, the students as they ask intrepid questions. I would recommend volunteering at ICNC for anyone with an interest in making a difference. Thank you for letting me be part of the wonderful Indian Creek Nature Center team!”
– Steve Keane, Volunteer Teacher-Naturalist
“Volunteering is just as much about giving back as it is giving to self. We harvested the branches that will be used in the upcoming basket weaving class. What I also harvested was a sense of accomplishment, purpose, skill building, appreciation and maybe even a couple new friends.”
– Amanda Bittorf, Volunteer

ICNC Volunteer Application

Fill out and submit the form below to apply and be considered for volunteer opportunities with Indian Creek Nature Center.

  • Personal Info

  • Please note: Certain volunteer positions are subject to a paid background check in order to participate. You will be contacted separately if this process is required.
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • The majority of volunteer communication is sent via email. If your email changes, please notify us.
  • Do you have any access needs or accommodation requests that we should be aware of?
  • Please describe your general availability (days of the week, weekdays/evenings/weekends, seasonal, temporary).
  • What might your time commitment look like as a prospective volunteer? Are you looking for a regular weekly shift, do you have short term goals, or something different/you're unsure? PLEASE NOTE: Some volunteer roles (Teacher-Naturalist and Creekside Forest School) do require consistent participation.
  • if applicable
  • Volunteer Info

    Please select volunteer roles that you are interested in.
  • Most education volunteer opportunities take place during the school year on weekdays between 9am-3pm unless otherwise noted. Requirements: A strong desire to work with children and a passion for creating champions of nature. Must be willing to volunteer a minimum of 12-15 hours per month. Teacher-Naturalists (lead visiting groups to ICNC) will onboard primarily at the end of August for fall and mid-February for spring. Training is provided.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.