5 Sturgis Corner Drive, Suite 1250, Iowa City, IA 52246
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Volunteer Opportunities

Bur Oak Land Trust currently maintains and preserves eleven local natural areas for the enjoyment and education of the public. These areas are managed in part by the Trust’s Land Steward, volunteer property stewards, volunteers, and community organizations. Volunteers play a crucial role in maintaining and preserving our properties.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks on Trust properties including: prairie burns, invasive species removal, trash clean up, trail maintenance, planting native species, and harvesting prairie seed, to name a few. We have various workdays throughout the year to provide everyone the opportunity to volunteer on a Trust property. Bur Oak Land Trust also needs help in the office with mailing, publications, community relations, and events. If you wish to volunteer, we can find something for you, no matter what your experience.

If you are part of a group or organization and would like to schedule a volunteer day, we would love to hear from you!

For workdays on the properties, contact Jason Taylor at jason@BurOakLandTrust.org or call 518-925-8713.


Thank you to Big Grove Brewery for supplying wooden nickels to reward our workday volunteers!

(Kessler Prairie is located near Grinnell outside of Johnson County)


Notes from Carter

My fall note was about the importance of timing when cutting on or around oak trees in our woodlands. That time has come. Shorter day length means a little less time available to be out in the woods, but the conditions are good to do pruning, limbing or felling, and maintain the health of our trees.

I mentioned job site safety last time too. This time of year brings additional concerns to working outdoors. Snowy, icy, or even hard frozen ground presents greater slip and trip hazards when out in the woods, so please mind your steps. Wintertime temperatures alone can be a danger, so be sure to take precautions against cold related injury by dressing appropriately for the forecast. Work in the Iowa winter can be difficult enough. Performing it safely will allow you to enjoy the benefits of your work long after the days of cold-fogged safety glasses..

When you aren’t out in the frozen field, winter is also a great time of year to do some planning for when the world is green again. Field trips and field days are an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge-base and meet people who share your passion for Iowa’s natural places. The people who put on and attend these events understand the value of sharing hard-won lessons in ecological stewardship. If you have questions they can answer, they will and with care. Now is a good time to start filling the calendar with potential outings in the coming spring, summer, and fall. I suggest spending some time checking out the events that the following groups will be putting on in the coming year. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start.

Trees Forever

Iowa Prairie Network

Iowa Native Plant Society

Hawkeye Cooperative Weed Management Area

Iowa Woodland Owners Association

One event to mention before I go. We host Prairie Preview on March 3, 2020. Hope it makes it on your calendar.

Here’s a video Jack Dickens put together of drone footage of an O’Mara-Newport burn and shots from volunteer workdays – with music by Elizabeth Moen. I hope this inspires you to get out and volunteer!

This is a before and after picture of the 2016 honeysuckle removal efforts at Pappy Dickens.

We had a great crew at Shimek with our new Yo-ho tools we recently obtained from a Yo-ho tool grant! This group was from NCCC (Americorp).

We had a great crew at Shimek with our new Yo-ho tools we recently obtained from a Yo-ho tool grant! This group was from NCCC (Americorp).

Hard working UNFI volunteers at Pappy Dickens (Oct 2015)

Hard working UNFI volunteers at Pappy Dickens (Oct 2015)

Pappy Dickens (Oct 2015)

Pappy Dickens (Oct 2015)

Pappy Dickens (Dec 2015)

Pappy Dickens (Dec 2015)