Friends of The Mines of Spain Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunitiescall 563-556-0620 today

Please give us a moment of your time! See Below:

Volunteers are needed for the following items:

1. Greeter at the EB Lyons Interpretive Center. Mornings or Afternoons or all day welcome. Any day of the week is needed. Volunteers are also needed to keep the center open during times when programs are being provided to school classes and scouts.

2. Prairie seed collecting. Collect prairie seed starting mid August. The seed will be used to plant 30 acres this fall and approximately 25 acres of prairie next spring. Training is provided and no experience necessary.

3. Interpreters for programs. Volunteers are needed for programs throughout the year. Provide programs to general public, elementary, preschool classes, scouts and other groups. Topics vary. Training is available. Most programs are one to one and half hours in length.

4. Trail maintenance. Volunteers are needed to keep trail trimmed of tree limbs and to pick up any litter. Once every two weeks is welcomed. You can adopt a trail if you wish. Applications are available at the center.

5. Adopt-a-Park Program. Adopt a portion of the Mines of Spain. Choose a trail, picnic area, road segment, prairie, savanna, gardens, entrances and many other areas. Lets discuss what needs to be done, you decide how often.

6. Facility Maintenance, Help with routine or annual maintenance. Painting/staining of tables, benches or buildings, building maintenance (inside and outside), trail construction, display construction and much more. Many things to do all year.

7. Feed the critters at the center, Assist in feeding and taking care of the fish, turtles, snakes and more at the interpretive center. Clean and maintain cages and aquariums. Keep the feeders full outside for the songbirds. ADOPT-AN-ANIMAL AT THE CENTER, supply the food and other necessary items for an individual animal or group of animals.

1. Bird feed – Thistle seed or Black Oil Sunflower seed. We use about 3000 pounds per year in the bird feeders at the interpretive center.

2. Perennial Flowers for the bird and butterfly gardens at the interpretive center. The flowers should be part sun to shade tolerant

3. Taxidermy mounts for the interpretive center. Animal needs to be native to the State Of Iowa.

4. Field Identification books for the center. I.D. books include birds, flowers, rocks, trees, reptiles/amphibians.

5. Binoculars 7 x 35

6. Patio stain for benches, tables and railings throughout the park. Cedar Tone color.

2006 Outstanding Group Volunteer Award to Friends of Mines of Spain

Check out the DNR’s Volunteer of the Year 2002, click here

Friends of The Mines of Spain, Dubuque, IA 52003-9214, 563-556-0620

Trail Explorer Volunteer

Iowa State Trail Explorer Volunteer Program

The Iowa State Trail Explorer Volunteer Program is an ‘adopt-a-trail’ program developed to help support Iowa DNR staff in keeping the trails maintained, safe and friendly. In addition to the traditional ‘adopt-a-trail’ approach (i.e., trail maintenance), volunteers will act as park ambassadors in order to deepen the connection between the Mines of Spain and its trail users. The trail system is split into several segments, for which teams of 3-4 volunteers will be responsible for. Volunteers will receive training and an item to identify that they are a DNR volunteer.

Volunteer applications are Available here


Be a friendly trail steward
Hike/paddle designated trails on a routine basis
Communicate to park staff any hazards (e.g., downed trees, broken boards on
bridges or steps, downed or missing signs)
Pick up trash along trail and dispose of properly (recycling when possible)
Perform minor trail maintenance in accordance to park policies (e.g., cut back
Assist with control of invasive species
Provide information to trail users as requested
Report volunteer hours to park staff
Provide feedback to park staff on trail issues and any problem with park users2

1. Volunteers may be asked to help coordinate and/or assist with
larger trail maintenance projects
2. Volunteers are not to assume any law enforcement roles

Elli Slouha, Park Manager
Jason Gilmore, Park Ranger
Park Office: 8991 Bellevue Heights Rd
Dubuque, IA 52003
(563) 556-0620

5/19/2019 – Our First Volunteer Meeting Notes (23 in attendance):


  • Welcome and Introductions: Jason & Elli
  • Presentation: State Parks Trails Ambassadors2019

o    Trail maintenance:

  • Take photos of damage
  • Erosion
  • Water bars
  • Rock
  • Keeping things off trail
  • Nettles/poison ivy
  • Downed trees
  • Add pins via googlemaps
  • Touch and hold – adds pin
  • “Share Pin” – email or text

o    Promoting trails

  • Each volunteer will get a vest from DNR
  • Chat up people you come across
  • Carry trail maps to hand out
  • Educate on good trail stewardship
  • If issues arise, contact DNR staff – do not take things into your own hands

o    Help keep park clean

  • Equipment such as bags and grabbers will be provided by DNR

o    Have ideas?  Let staff know!

o    Have fun!

  • Share your photos…. (tag #iowadnr, #minesofspain)
  • Share your stories…

o    Please log your volunteer time

  • Form via google drive
  • Clipboard in shed(?)

o    Tools & Equipment

  • DNR is moving a shed to behind EB Lyons for equipment. Volunteers will have access.
  • Loppers for snipping things that our overhanging into the trailway
  • Shovels for fixing trails (e.g., installing water bars)
  • Chainsaws?
  • At the moment, a “no”… but hopefully DNR will offer training (required for anyone using power equipment in the park)
  • Weedeaters?
  • OK… use proper PPE(personal protective equipment)

o    Trail projects 2019

  • 3 June, 2019- Horseshoe Bluff staircase board replacement
  • Horseshoe wetland – removal and installation of new docks
  • Julien Dubuque trail – replacement of wood railing
  • Calcite trail – water bars
  • Cattesse – water crossing
  • Pine Chapel/Lead Mine trail – brush removal


  • Questions

o    Tree across trail too large to move by hand… drop a pin?

  • Yes.

o    Tracking volunteer time for trail runners… specific to maintenance?

  • Yes – use your best judgement.  If running several times per week, please put at least 1 to 2 hours for that week – even if you don’t do any maintenance – you are still out looking.

o    Drawstring bags available from DNR?

  • Yes.
  • Drop garbage off at Horseshoe Bluff (can near parking lot), Picnic area… Just leave in a parking lot with your bag.  Pin it on googlemaps.

o    If you come across someone littering, do you say anything?

  • Probably not… but get a description (license plate number) if possible and pass on to DNR staff.

o    Vandalism… please keep an eye out – take photos.

  • If you see anyone, please get a description.

o    Will you send out an email when large tree on Catfish is finally cut down so that we may come out and honor it?

  • Yes, but plan on keeping it and working trail around it

o    What is the term for trail segments/teams?

  • DNR is wanting teams to work on their trail segment for a year.  Planning on having a volunteer appreciate event in spring where new trails and segments will be designated.