Earth Week
2024 Earth day is every day
April 20-27
Greater DM Metro

Earth Day Trash Bash, is a collaboration between the cities & citizens of Clive, Des Moines, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines, Boone County Conservation, Polk County Conservation, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Trees Forever, and Des Moines Water Works.


This year's Earth Day Trash Bash takes place over Earth Week, April 20-27, and offers opportunities across a wide range of dates for individuals and groups. We are excited to be working together with thousands of volunteers and community partners, celebrating Earth Day and greening up the entire Des Moines metro and Iowa. 

Earth Day is Every Day!

Earth Day in the U.S. began in 1970 as 20 million Americans, from all walks of life, mobilized in an effort to change our environment. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by more than a billion people per year in 192 countries. 

In 2023, over 5,600 volunteers cleared away more than 29,000 pounds of trash, recyclables, and compostable materials from our public spaces in Des Moines and more throughout the Metro. Volunteers donated more than 14,000 hours to our community. View Des Moines' 2023 Recap Video!

KCCI staff in action

Schedule

Volunteering for Earth Day is a great way to build team culture and enjoy the great outdoors. So, whether you are working remotely or in an office, a student, or living in our community...we have lots of way for you to get involved. So grab your "team" or sign-up as an individual for one of our metro-wide volunteer opportunities from April 20-27. While our event began years and years ago by picking up litter, we've expanded our opportunities to also include planting trees and flowers, improving the health of our watersheds and woodlands, and more. 

Our week of greening up and giving back kicks off with a cleanup of the Gray's Lake Watershed on April 20th, 9-11 a.m. Other activities on Saturday, April 20, include a youth clean-up (Silver Cord volunteers metro-wide are welcome) of the Franklin Community Garden, from 10-Noon, and a public High Trestle Trail clean-up, from 1-3 p.m. (view details on the drop-down below). 

Volunteer

We will help you or your team plan ahead, protect yourself, and get connected with ways to give back making the Metro a great place to live, work and play in! Tools and supplies will be provided for hosted sites. 

TEAMS: If you have a confirmed group, and you see enough openings online, let us know and we can reserve them for you. 

For our Des Moines and Pleasant Hill sites, we will provide a password-protected link for your reserved spots so that your teammates can each fill out their individual registration/waiver and get the confirmation details for your site. Email  trashbash@dmgov.org your group details to start. 

INDIVIDUALS: If you don't have a team, feel free to register for a spot on your own. 

YOU-DO-YOU (SELF-LED): If our staff-led activities don't fit your schedule and you need greater flexibility, pick one of our "You-Do-You" self-led options and select the location you'd like to help at or contact us to schedule an area not listed. Don't forget afterwards to share with us how much you cleaned up and where you cleaned to help our communities reach their goals.

To find a location to volunteer, click a City or tab below to view opportunities. 

Registration

City:
Clive

Who:
City of Clive Parks and Recreation
Jeff Lucas, Recreation Manager, (515)867-5127jlucas@cityofclive.com
Where:
9 locations-73rd Street Trail Area, Linnan/Harbach/Indian Hills Woods, Porter Shelter & 86th Street Bridge, Rio Valley/Walnut Ridge/Karp, Campbell Park (East to 108th St.), Campbell Park (West to Country Club), Lions/Wildwood/Trail Connections, Canary/CC Glen/Stonegate, and Shuler Pond
Why:
This community clean-up event is part of Iowa's largest Earth Day volunteer event, Earth Day Trash Bash. From April 20-27, volunteer events will be held throughout the entire Metro celebrating our Earth and providing opportunities to give back on your public lands. The events below are held throughout Clive and focuses on making Clive parks and trail areas "Distinct By Nature."

We ask that each individual volunteer register themselves and complete the required waiver, at the end of the online registration process. This will also help us measure the Earth Day volunteers impact! One week prior to Earth Day Trash Bash, an informational email will be sent to each volunteer, with more specific logistical information.

Volunteers will meet at their registered volunteer location at 12:45 p.m. Staff will provide equipment, safety gloves, vests, trash bags, etc. Clean-up efforts are from 1:00-3:00 pm.
When:
April 26, 2024, 1:00-3:00 p.m. (Meetup at 12:45 p.m.)
Registration:
Visit Clive Parks and Recreation online under “Volunteers" at https://bit.ly/EDTB2024-Clive
Note:
Adults 18 and older. Training and tools provided on-site by Parks staff. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves and water bottles. Restrooms will be available at some areas throughout the Greenbelt Trail (plan ahead).

City:
Des Moines

Who:
City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation
trashbash@dmgov.org
Where:
Various Locations Throughout the City
When:
April 20-27
Registration:
View Openings-Coming Soon in Mid-March

Who:
City of Des Moines Public Works
parksvolunteer@dmgov.org
Where:
Various Street Corridors
When:
Throughout the Earth Month (April)
Registration:
View Openings-Coming Soon in Mid-March

Who:
Des Moines Water Works
Where:
Water Works Park
When:
2024 Dates and Registration Coming Soon in Mid-March
Volunteers Needed:
TBD

Who:
City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation and Confluence Brewing
Where:
Gray’s Lake Watershed. Meet on the back patio of Confluence Brewing (directions will be included in your registration) to give back and then gather afterwards to celebrate the week to come. 
When:
Saturday, April 20, 9:00-11:00 a.m. 
Registration:
View Openings- Coming Soon in Mid-March 
Sites:
Choose from Gray’s Lake Park, Thomas Beck Road, and Fleur Drive along Gray’s Lake

Who:
Trees Forever
Bianca Cook, 515-450-1632, bcook@treesforever.org
Where:
Oakland Avenue, between Franklin Ave. and College Ave.
Why:
Volunteers will help improve our urban tree canopy. Planting trees along the streetscape reduces energy usage, removes air pollutants, filters stormwater, and cools hot city streets by providing shade. Tree planting instruction will be provided.
When:
April 22, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Registration:
https://bit.ly/EDTB2024-TreesForever

City:
Johnston

Who:
City of Johnston Parks Earth Day Litter Clean-up
Where:
TBD
When:
TBD
Registration:
Openings Coming Soon in March

City:
Madrid

What:
High Trestle Trail Cleanup
Who:
Boone County Conservation and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
When:
April 20, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Details:
Join in Iowa’s largest Earth Day volunteer event, Earth Day Trash Bash, while we beautify Iowa and keep Boone County litter-free. Boone County Conservation, Friends of the Trail, and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation are hosting a FREE event at Grants Woods Park. Enjoy a nice afternoon hike, as we walk along the High Trestle Trail collecting litter and saving the world one step at a time. All cleanup supplies are provided, but if you want to bring items of your own to assist in cleaning up you may.
Location:
Grants Woods Park - 2335 QF Lane, Madrid, IA 50156.
Register:
Email kneuendorf@boonecounty.iowa.gov (Boone County Naturalist- Kyle Neuendorf)
Questions:
Kyle Neuendorf, 515-230-8392, or Melanie Schmidt, 515-249-7680

City:
Norwalk

Who:
Norwalk Parks and Recreation
Where:
Various Locations (see registration page for openings)
  • Park Cleanup @ Elizabeth Holland Park (10) 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Tree Planting @ Warrior Park (10) 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Trail Cleanup @ Warrior Park (8) 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Tree Planting@ Windflower Park (6) 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Registration:
View openings and register online here.

Project 1:
Earth Day Volunteering – woodland habitat restoration and litter removal 
Where:
Fort Des Moines
When:
TBD
Note:
2024 Dates Coming Soon in Mid-March

City:
Pleasant Hill

Who:
City of Pleasant Hill Parks and Recreation
Where:
Youngstown Trail
When:
Friday, April 26, 12:00-3:00 p.m. 
Registration:
View Openings-Coming Soon in March

City:
West Des Moines

Who:
West Des Moines Parks and Recreation
What:
Earth Month Park Clean Ups
Join us as we clean up trash and remove invasive species in our parks and along the trails! These free events bring together volunteers to give back to the community. City of West Des Moines staff will provide the supplies and lead the charge for the park clean ups. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes you do not mind getting a bit dirty.
Groups:
Email ParkRec@wdm.iowa.gov to inquire.
Where:
ID Day Date Time Location
36520 Tuesday 4/2 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Southwoods Park
36521 Wednesday 4/10 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Raccoon River Park
36522 Tuesday 4/16 8 – 11 a.m. Jordan Creek Trail Corridor - West
36523 Tuesday 4/16 12 – 3 p.m. Jordan Creek Trail Corridor - West
36524 Wednesday 4/24 8 – 11 a.m. Jordan Creek Trail Corridor - East
36525 Wednesday 4/24 12 – 3 p.m. Jordan Creek Trail Corridor - East
Registration:
https://bit.ly/EDTB2024-WestDesMoines (Details located under Family Programs/Nature)

City:
Des Moines
Who:
City of Des Moines
Where:
Select one of our self-led locations or let us know where you'd like to clean-up around your home, business, or your neighborhood. 
When:
Anytime you would like. These are flexible!
What:
This is a You-Do-You self-led option. If you are interested in helping out on Earth Day or sometime in the month of April but our openings don't work with your availability or comfort level, then we still want to provide an opportunity for you to help. Register below. You can provide your own supplies, or set up a time to come to our office to pick up supplies. After you help us out, return the supplies and submit your total hours on the link where you registered so we can show the great work our City did together.
Registration:
View Openings-Coming Soon in Mid-March 
Note:
Minors will need parent signatures on their online waivers. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be glad to help at trashbash@dmgov.org.

Awards

Whether you join an organized Earth Month project or head out to do a clean-up on your own, make sure to share with us along the way #EDTB2024. We’ll be keeping our eye out for any winners of the Best Selfie, Finders Keepers and those showing their Team Spirit.

  • Show us your Team Spirit ... wear a team t-shirt, costume or anything to show you've got SPIRIT!
  • Snap a pic of Best Selfie of you and your team in action.
  • Show us your unique find for the Finders Keepers awards.

Not on social media? Email your favorite pics to trashbash@dmgov.org.

Award winners will be notified post-event and the award pick-up or delivery will be scheduled with the winners. 

Awards - team spirit
Awards - best selfie
Awards - finders keepers

Earth Day Activities

Who:
Des Moines
What:
Begin with a hike on the nature trail to find wildflowers in bloom, learn about the insects that visit these flowers and build a "Pollinator House" to take home.
Where:
Grandview Park Mahaffey Enclosed Shelter
When:
Saturday, April 20, 10:00 a.m.
Cost:
$5
Registration:
https://bit.ly/EDTB2024-EarthDayPrograms (Registration Coming Soon).

Who:
Des Moines
What:
Building a Bee House
Look into the world of solitary bees and other pollinators that live around us then build a simple bee house to take home and place in your yard. Helping to provide habitat for insects is a creative way to support nature and conservation. Register with the East Side Library.
Where:
East Side Library
When:
Thursday, April 25, 5:30 p.m.
Cost:
FREE
Registration:
https://bit.ly/EDTB2024-EarthDayPrograms (Registration Coming Soon).

Who:
West Des Moines
What:
Earth Day Family Fun
Earth Day Family Fun is a perfect opportunity for you to enjoy environmentally friendly outdoor activities! New location this year -- Raccoon River Park! Stop by community vendor tables, take home cool giveaways, learn how to turn recyclable materials into games and art, experience fishing, and meet live critters! There will be bonus educational sessions you can register for as well. The main event is free with no registration required, but for the bonus events we do ask you to register as space is limited.
Where:
Raccoon River Park, West Des Moines
When:
Saturday, April 20, 2024, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Registration:
https://bit.ly/EDTB2024-WestDesMoines (Registration Coming Soon March 12)

History

Thanks to our community's commitment to a better environment and a healthier community, over 5,600 volunteers last year cleared away more than 29,000 pounds of trash, recyclables, and compostable materials from our public spaces. Volunteers donated more than 14,000 hours to our community. View our 2023 Recap Video!

Earth Day Trash Bash began as a small cleanup with local businesses and organizations around 2005. As interest grew in "greening" up our community, so did the event. We are incredibly lucky to have so many giving individuals and organizations in Central Iowa that have committed to our environment each year since. In 2020, the world stood still and Earth Day Trash Bash paused as well. In 2021, we were back and adapted to go from a one day event to many events throughout the month of April. In the following years, as things returned to normal we adapted again to our current format, a week-long offering of volunteer and educational events across the Metro. Volunteers can pick up litter, remove invasive plants, protect our historical resources, and more! There are so many ways to green up and clean up the Metro and help celebrate our Earth this spring. 

Since 2008, the combined value of  donations and donated time is more than $2,000,000. The volunteers have cleared more than 631,000 pounds of litter, brush, and debris to give our Metro a spring cleaning. We look forward to welcoming everyone back onto our public lands and parks, trails, and open spaces in 2024. 

History - from previous Earth Day actions
History - from previous Earth Day actions
History - from previous Earth Day actions

Sponsorship

We could not help our community, the Earth or recognize these volunteer efforts without the support of our sponsors. Thank you to our sponsors for helping make Iowa's largest Earth Day event a success again!

Want to sponsor?
Platinum Sponsor Benefits
Diamond Sponsor Benefits

Sponsorship Levels

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Presenting
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Diamond
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Platinum

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2024 Diamond Sponsors ($3,000 +)

City of Des Moines logo
Friends of Des Moines Parks logo
City of Norwalk logo

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2024 Platinum Sponsors ($1,000 +)

Des Moines Water Works logo
Polk County Conservation logo
Metro Waste Authority logo

Special Thank You to our Partners:
City of Des Moines, City of Clive, City of Johnston, City of Norwalk, City of Pleasant Hill, City of West Des Moines, Des Moines Water Works, Boone County Conservation, Polk County Conservation, Polk Soil and Water Conservation, Trees Forever, and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation