The State Lands Volunteer Program allows select nonprofit organizations and individuals providing services on behalf of them to be eligible for liability protection under Iowa Code chapter 669 (Iowa Tort Claims Act) while performing qualifying volunteer services for the DNR. These nonprofit organizations and the individuals providing services on their behalf are considered state volunteers while providing authorized volunteer services for no compensation.
Who can participate?
For the purpose of this program a volunteer means an organization incorporated under Iowa Code chapter 504 as a nonprofit organization, or an individual providing services on behalf of the nonprofit organization, that provides volunteer services for the benefit of lands under the jurisdiction of the department and that registers as a volunteer under this program. A volunteer may include a friends group or organization as defined in rule 571—14.1(461A). A volunteer shall not include an organization or individual that operates a concession operation as defined in rule 571—14.1(461A), unless that concession operation remits all receipts and returns all net proceeds after qualifying expenses from such operations to the department for the benefit of the state parks system or otherwise procures goods or services for the benefit of the DNR.
What are qualifying volunteer services?
Qualifying volunteer services are, unless otherwise specified, limited to activities undertaken on lands under the jurisdiction of the DNR to benefit such lands. Volunteer services do not include any administrative functions of a nonprofit organization registered under this program. Some of the most common types of volunteer services include organized work days, special events, and concession operations.
What is the process to register?
Groups interested in participation in this program must complete the State Lands Volunteer Program Registration Form.
All submitted registration forms will be reviewed by the DNR to determine whether the registrant will be designated a volunteer under this program. The DNR will evaluate the volunteer’s ability to perform the services, the DNR’s identified need for such services, and the DNR’s ability to manage the volunteer’s proposed activities, if applicable.
DNR will issue an authorization letter to those registrants who will be admitted to the program. The authorization letter will state the terms of the registrant’s participation in the program. The DNR may authorize the registrant’s proposed activities in part and deny them in part and may provide reasons for any program denials. Registration must be renewed every other year or as soon as substantial changes are planned to the approved services contained in the authorization letter, whichever occurs first.
1. State Lands Volunteer Program Registration Form
2. Volunteer Project Planning Form – This form was created to assist groups in providing detail to local DNR staff regarding a specific event/project. This is an optional form.
3. Volunteer Waiver – Registrants will be required to have all volunteers who participate in activities sign a DNR volunteer release and liability waiver.
4. Volunteer Log – Registrants should complete a volunteer log at the conclusion of each event.
5. Volunteer Code of Conduct – DNR encourages registrants to share this code of conduct with their volunteers.