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UPCYCLE Brings Conservation to the Confluence and Rhinos Too


upcycle_volunteersDES MOINES, IOWA – June 12, 2019— UPCYCLE, a partnership with the City of Des Moines, Blank Park Zoo, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Trees Forever was established in 2014 as a park restoration program. Improving the health of our parks during restoration includes removing invasive plant species which block necessary sunlight from reaching our native plants . The invasive plants are then used as food for zoo animals.

Join us on the third Thursday of the month at Gray’s Lake Park, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to cut, remove and treat invasive plants. The first 30 adult volunteers to attend will get a FREE drink ticket to redeemed following the workday thanks to our sponsor Confluence Brewing next door! Volunteers will be provided gloves, tools and training on-site. 

  • June 20
  • July 18
  • August 15
  • September 19 (rain date)
Volunteers should use the staff entrance to the northeast of Confluence Brewing off of Thomas Beck Road. View parking map here -

Online pre-registration is preferred at but walk-ins are welcome too. Minors must be over 14 years of age and will need signed parental waiver. Forms can be found at Participants should come prepared to walk on uneven surfaces into wooded areas, bend, lift and carry loads and cut down trees of various sizes. Please wear close-toed shoes or work boots and appropriate clothing to cover your body and protect yourself from injuries.

For questions about UPCYCLE, please contact, Callie Le’au Courtright, 248-6380.

Benjamin R. Page
Director, Des Moines Parks and Recreation

About Des Moines Parks and Recreation
Founded in 1892, the Parks and Recreation Department’s mission is “Helping Des Moines Live Well, Play Hard and Protect the Earth.” Our department is responsible for the management of 75 parks, over 4,000 acres of parkland, 81 miles of trails, seven cemeteries and numerous municipal facilities. In addition, we offer numerous programs in the areas of sports, urban conservation, environment education, sport instruction, volunteerism, rentals and special events. For more information on Des Moines Parks and Recreation programs or facilities, visit our website (, Facebook (, Twitter (@desmoinesparks) or Instagram (

About Our Partners
Blank Park Zoo is a 49-acre zoological park that inspires appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation. Blank Park Zoo is an AZA accredited zoo who’s been a part of the Des Moines metro community since 1963.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) is a non-profit, statewide, conservation organization. Our mission is to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. INHF is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has helped protect over 170,000 acres of Iowa prairies, woodlands, lakes and rivers while blazing the way for Iowa’s trails.

Trees Forever is a statewide non-profit who plants and cares for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community, and promoting stewardship, thru cutting-edge programs and innovative practices. Trees Forever also focuses on the importance of a diverse natural world, clean water, pollinator and wildlife habitat.