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The Iowa DNR Bureau of Forestry is seeking volunteer help to maintain over 50 miles of equestrian trails on three of our largest state forests; Shimek, Stephens and Yellow River.  Maintaining equestrian trails is extremely labor intensive and expensive.  Your help is needed to reduce erosion and wash-outs, maintain proper signage, and to keep trails free of downed trees and debris.

There are several ways volunteers can help ensure that trails are safe and usable for an enjoyable riding experience.  Volunteers can donate time, materials and money to help with trail maintenance and needed repairs.

To volunteer your time, contact the area forester for the state forest you wish to help.  Each state forest has staff prepared to coordinate volunteer work.  There are numerous opportunities for groups or individuals to volunteer their time. You can also donate materials for a specific trail project.  You can donate rock or other trail building materials and arrange delivery to a designated site where it will be used by trail staff and volunteers.

To donate money for trail maintenance, please complete the donation form
Once you have completed the form, print and mail it along with a check in the amount of your gift to:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Attn:  Cashier’s Office
Wallace State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034

Monetary gifts will be used for larger projects such as culverts, rock and other materials needed for trail repairs and improvements.

The future of Iowa’s equestrian trails will depend on volunteers to help with care and maintenance so people can continue to enjoy our beautiful forest resources.  For more information about how you can help, contact:

State Forests Section Chief, Jeff Goerndt

Stephens State Forest, Jessica Flatt
(641) 774-4559,

Shimek State Forest, John Byrd
(319) 878-3811,

Yellow River State Forest, Bruce Blair 
(563) 586-2254,