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

Bur Oak Land Trust currently maintains and preserves nine local natural areas for the enjoyment and education of the public. These areas are managed in part by the Trust’s Property Stewardship Specialist, 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 that would work better for you, feel free to contact us.

For workdays on the properties, contact Seth Somerville at seth@BurOakLandTrust.org or call 319-400-5511.

General Volunteer Invasive Removal Workdays: check back often for new postings!


May 25 9:00am-11:00am at O’Mara Newport: SIGN UP HERE

Property Stewards Workdays: check back for new postings!

Burn Crew: check back for new postings!

Interested in helping with property burns? Fill out this form: Burn Crew Info Form

AmeriCorps and CCI Team Workdays: check back for new postings!

October 20 9am-5pm at O’Mara-Newport: SIGN UP HERE

Clear Creek Cleanup Project:

July 21 8am-12:30pm at Tom Harkin Trialhead: SIGN UP HERE


Notes from Seth

The farm ponds are clear, the birds are migrating through, and the colors are starting to change from drab brown. If you have any kind of pond that looks great in the spring and poor in the summer, now is the time to take action to ensure you have open water during the summer months.

Establishing your goal for the waterbody is the first step. Aesthetics, fishing, livestock, wildlife habitat, or swimming? Once you set your goal, you can begin working towards a pond that serves your needs. You can use manual harvesters for the rooted plants, use weed cutter to drag across the bottom of the pond, then the use a floating rake to drag the material to shore. This method requires a strong back and consistent effort over the course of a growing season. If you are anti-chemical this is your best bet, as long as you have done what you can further up your watershed to minimize erosion and transport of excess nutrients. Aeration has some benefits, but little by the way of weed management. Fish stocking is important, so consult your local fisheries for a proper stocking rate, and have your goals in mind. Grass carp will not manage algae. If the algae persists you may have to resort to chemicals or dye the following season. I hope all of you have a great start to the spring season! As always make sure to check our website for upcoming volunteer opportunities. We have created some great partnerships as we look to preserve and protect the natural areas of Iowa for future generations to enjoy.

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)

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