The following organizations are participating in Iowa Gives Green this year. These groups represent a variety of environmental, conservation, and community missions. Supporting their work helps to improve Iowa’s environment for all. Choose one, choose a few, or choose to support them all with a gift today for Iowa Gives Green. Don’t see your favorite environmental group listed here? Support them with a gift anyway and tell them to join in Iowa Gives Green next year!

Click on an organization’s logo to learn more about their efforts and make a donation.

The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation. From local conservation outreach such as UPCYCLE and creek cleanups to global conservation activities such as protecting endangered species or the #StomptheStraw initiative, BPZ works to protect our land and water for animals and humans to enjoy. Blank Park Zoo has been a part of the Des Moines metro community since 1963.

The mission of The Brenton Arboretum is to inspire joy through the beauty and knowledge of the natural world of trees. Located on 150 acres of picturesque Iowa farmland The Brenton Arboretum offers more than 2,500 trees and miles of hiking trails just minutes west of the Des Moines metro. Charitable donations ensure that The Brenton Arboretum’s exquisite tree collections and restored native habitats are maintained to the highest standard and available to the public year-round and free of charge.

Bur Oak is your local land trust focused on conserving and restoring natural areas and habitat along the corridor in eastern Iowa.  

Our mission:

  • Protect and restore our prairies, wetlands, and woodlands.
  • Be a community provider for conservation education and land stewardship. 
  • Ensure that natural spaces are public, accessible, and nearby for all to enjoy.

Your support ensures that there are beautiful wild places, local trails, conservation expertise, as well as healthy habitat and native ecosystems where we live, work, and play.

Donate or become a member today.

It is the mission of Central Gardens of North Iowa to provide a public, intergenerational garden environment that is welcoming, beautiful, educational, recreational, and fun. Committed to promoting environmental stewardship and enhancing learning opportunities for all, the Gardens is the only free, public garden in a 90-mile radius of Clear Lake and is a major tourist attraction in North Iowa. Nearly three acres and 20+ themed gardens provide serenity and beauty for nearly 20,000 guests who visit each year. The splendor of the grounds and the vibrancy of the programming offered provide a wonderful place to celebrate the wonders of nature and our changing seasons. Thanks to generous donations and volunteers, the Gardens offers nearly 70 free events, educational activities, and concerts throughout the year, and is your local land trust focused on conserving and restoring natural areas and habitat along the corridor in Northern Iowa.  

Conservation Districts of Iowa supports the soil and water conservation districts through public education, policy, acknowledgement, commissioner development, on-the-ground conservation, conservation practice promotion, events and more.

The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department plays a powerful role in creating and sustaining a healthy, vibrant and attractive community for all Des Moines residents and visitors. The Friends of Des Moines Parks partners with the Parks and Rec to ensure all park and trail users have a positive experience when using park amenities, accessing programs and attending events.  To ensure our facilities, playgrounds, trails and attractions can continue serving our community for current and future generations, the Friends need your time and treasure. Help us preserve and improve our system for future outsiders.

The Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit organization established in 1993 to support the US Fish & Wildlife Service in their mission to rebuild prairie and oak savanna habitat in central Iowa. Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, located in Prairie City, is home to many native species of plants and animals, including elk and bison herds. 

An all-volunteer group, led by local supporters, the Friends of NSNWR promote public awareness of the refuge and encourage participation in the learning, growth and discovery that occurs there every day. The Friends also provide funding for projects beyond the reach of federally appropriated dollars and support educational programs offered to the community.

Iowa’s Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund was created by Iowans in 2010. More than 63% of Iowans voted for a constitutional amendment to create the Trust Fund, establishing a permanent source of funding for clean water, outdoor recreation, soil quality, and wildlife habitat. The Trust Fund requires a 3/8ths cent increase in the state sales tax to receive funding. The Trust Fund has remained empty for a decade because the state has not taken action to increase the sales tax.

At the Great Outdoors Foundation, we provide leadership, foster partnerships, increase awareness, and raise funds — serving as a catalyst to power passion and support for regional projects that expand and restore natural spaces, enhance outdoor recreation and learning opportunities, and promote conservation.

We connect people of all ages and backgrounds to nature by collaborating with other organizations who share a common vision of healthy environments that provide a variety of outdoor recreation and education opportunities. Driven by our clear purpose, we challenge ourselves to seek and take on partner projects offering exceptional and long-term impact requiring a regional approach and creative funding.

Great Plains Action Society started to build in 2014 but was formally created in August 2016 out of the No Dakota Access Pipeline movement largely fought at the Standing Rock reservation and throughout Iowa. We are Indigenous Peoples of the Great Plains proactively working to resist and Indigenize colonial-capitalist institutions and behaviors. We defend the land where our ancestors lie and where the children walk. Our goal is to reclaim what has been stolen and oppressed to create a better world for us all.

With a mission of exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden inspires and engages visitors through education, experience and exploration. As a renowned cultural institution, the Botanical Garden cultivates diverse plants and connects people to the environment surrounding them.

Indian Creek Nature Center’s mission is to promote a more sustainable future by nurturing individuals through environmental education, providing leadership in land protection and restoration, and encouraging responsible interactions with nature.

Indian Creek Nature Center, in Cedar Rapids, is Iowa’s first independently owned and operated nonprofit nature center. Founded in 1973, ICNC has spent the last five decades working to create champions of nature. It has grown to nearly 500 acres and offers programs that immerse children through seniors in our ecological heritage. Much of ICNC’s land is open daily for free public use including hiking and wildlife viewing. In 2016 the ICNC opened its Amazing Space building, which has since achieved Living Building Petal Certification. In 2021 ICNC launched its nature-based preschool, Creekside Forest School which serves 3- and 4-year-old children to create a new generation of Champions of Nature.

Iowa’s Coldwater Conservancy organized in 2017 to protect and restore the ecosystems that sustain Iowa’s coldwater rivers and streams while expanding public access to these vital and unique natural resources. Our vision: Iowa’s Coldwater rivers and streams will be complete, healthy eco-systems that improve our natural environment and enhance the lives of everyone who has the opportunity to experience these examples of our natural heritage. We collaborate with education, business, agriculture, NGOs, local/state/federal agencies, and landowners to attain the necessary resources and policies to protect and restore the ecosystems that sustain Iowa’s coldwater rivers and streams while expanding public access to these vital and unique natural resources.

Iowa Confluence Water Trails — ICON, for short — will connect 80+ improvements across 150 miles of rivers and creeks in Central Iowa. Initiated by the Central Iowa Water Trails Consortium, including Capital Crossroads, Catch Des Moines, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines Area MPO, Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Great Outdoors Foundation, ICON represents a new commitment to water safety and conservation as well as a concerted effort to drive economic development, visitor attraction and workforce retention. 

ICON Water Trails is a regionally inclusive recreational confluence connecting culture, conservation, and adventure by empowering our waterways.

The Iowa Environmental Council educates, advocates and builds coalitions to raise awareness, generate action and impact policy to make Iowa a better place to live, work and explore. Founded in 1995, the Iowa Environmental Council is the largest and most comprehensive environmental coalition in the state. We are a nonpartisan alliance of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect and preserve Iowa’s environment. Together, we unify Iowans to advocate for clean water & land stewardship, clean energy, and a healthy climate. 

Iowa IPL’s mission is to empower Iowans of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on the climate crisis. As a statewide non-profit, we mobilize people of faith and conscience from all walks of life, focusing on common values, working together with partner organizations, engaging individuals and communities, and inviting all Iowans of faith to engage in this work. Founded in 2006, Iowa IPL is part of the national Interfaith Power & Light movement.

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation organization that works with private landowners and public agencies to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. Since our founding in 1979, our supporters and staff have protected more than 180,000 acres of Iowa’s natural resources. INHF establishes multi-use trails and protects untouched prairie in Iowa. At the center of INHF’s mission are people who are passionate about saving Iowa’s wild places — for wildlife, for the health of Iowa’s natural resources and for the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) is a leader in river education and advocacy and is committed to protecting some of our most precious natural resources – our rivers and streams. IRR works to engage individuals, organizations, communities, and government leaders in river awareness, responsibility, and enjoyment to improve and enhance the condition of Iowa waterways – ensuring a quality, safe and lasting resource for future generations. Rivers are the barometer of the overall health of our ecosystem and Iowa Rivers Revival is working to ensure our rivers are safe, clean, and enjoyable for future generations.

Headquartered in the Quad Cities, Living Lands & Waters is a 501 (c)(3) environmental organization that was established by Chad Pregracke in 1998. Since the organization was founded, Living Lands & Waters has grown to be the only “industrial strength” river cleanup organization like it in the world.

Spending up to nine months a year living and traveling on the barge, the Living Lands & Waters crew hosts river cleanups, watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantings and other key conservation efforts.

The Climate & Environmental Justice Committee of LULAC of Iowa is a statewide initiative to address environmental injustices in Latinx and other BIPOC communities across Iowa. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa, established in 1957, is a grassroots organization that is 100% volunteer-run. Your donations will support local environmental justice initiatives that our members have been advocating and organizing around, such as water contamination, runoff from CAFOS, inequities from disaster recovery efforts from derecho and flooding, and much more. Our organization advocates, organizes, litigates, and informs policy around key environmental issues that are affecting the sustainability of our natural resources and human health for current and future generations of Iowans all across the state.

The mission of Moms Clean Air Force is to protect children from air pollution and climate change. We envision a safe, stable, and equitable future where all children breathe clean air.

We are a community of over one million moms and dads united against air pollution – including the urgent crisis of our changing climate – to protect our children’s health.

We fight for Justice in Every Breath, recognizing the importance of equitable solutions in addressing air pollution and climate change.

The Nahant Marsh preserve is the largest urban wetland on the Upper Mississippi River. It is comprised of marshy areas, mesic, wet and sand prairie, and bottomland forest. A spring-fed quarry, known as Carp Lake, and the surrounding grounds, are part of the Nahant Marsh preserve. The mission of Nahant Marsh Education Center is to protect, enhance, and restore the Marsh through education, research, and conservation.

The mission of the Newton Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is to connect community & horticulture- we are managed by the non-profit Project Awake and are open to the public. Featuring 6 acres of cultivated landscape; We display multiple annual demonstration beds, mixed borders, shade gardens, a butterfly garden, a rose garden, a peony border, and over 180 individual trees and shrubs. We showcase multiple art installations along the trails. The Arboretum also has over 3000 feet of hard surface trails for accessibility. The Gardens, along with the Krumm Center, are often the location of community education & workshops focused on sustainability and conservation of nature.  

Prairie Rivers of Iowa is a unique nonprofit focused on conserving natural and cultural resources to create a healthier environment and build thriving communities. We bring expertise to address some of Iowa’s most challenging needs like supporting landowners and communities to increase native pollinator habitat, assisting cities, counties and historical assets along a national byway to promote and preserve our history, and by developing tools and connections to improve Iowa’s water quality. Prairie Rivers of Iowa helps the state be culturally strong in a sustainable and robust environment.

River Action was founded in 1984 with the goal of fostering the environmental, economic, and cultural vitality of the Mississippi River and its riverfront in the Quad Cities region. Our mission is to collaborate and partner with river stakeholders who appreciate and understand the importance of the Mississippi River and its place within the Quad Cities region. We advocate for access and the protection and enjoyment of the Mississippi River. To do this, we develop and present programs, activities, and projects that positively impact the Mississippi River watershed and the people of the Q.C region. Through programming, we educate citizens and students on the history, environmental impact, and uniqueness of the Mississippi while respecting the natural beauty of the river and recognizing those who share this respect. Some of our most recent programs we are initiating is our 16th edition of  our Upper Mississippi River Conference, where our goal is to educate those on climate change effects happening right in our communities and our Plastic Free Mississippi campaign, another educational program to help teach the community members of low waste living option and why it’s important.

Science Iowa, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, promotes science in the public interest, publicly supported research, and evidence-based policy. It is devoted to educating Iowans on the importance of science and research in improving the human condition and on the positions candidates for public office take regarding science-related issues. Your contribution will help continue our educational events, science policy surveys of would-be legislators and other programs. Please donate today.

Iowa Beyond Coal is an initiative of the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club. Iowa Beyond Coal pressures utilities for commitments to retire Iowa’s coal plants by the year 2030 to save ratepayers money and protect our air, water, and climate. The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club‘s members are approximately 6,500 of your friends and neighbors who work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Sierra Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.

At Trees Forever, we do more than just plant trees! We care about the environment; about our urban forests, our rural lands, the communities we live in and our fellow citizens. Our nonprofit charitable organization, headquartered in Marion, Iowa, was founded in 1989, and continues today with our commitment to connect people to the environment through the planting and care of trees, prairie, and other natural areas.

Whiterock Conservancy is a 5,500 acre non-profit land trust that balances sustainable agriculture, natural resource protection, and public recreation on the landscape. Located near Coon Rapids, Iowa, along seven miles of the Middle Raccoon River valley, we are open to the public every day for recreation and exploration.

​We abide by a three-part mission: improve the condition of our conservation land through appropriate land management, demonstrate sustainable farming methods, and provide educational and recreational opportunities for our visitors.

Wings2Water, a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, began as a private initiative of the Eastern Iowa Airport. Our mission was, and is, to support projects that help reduce polluted runoff and flood impacts, restore water quality and help eliminate the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. We have positioned our organization to both educate others and lead efforts — financial, operational, volunteer — to improve water quality locally and nationally. Clean water and healthy ecosystems benefit all sectors of our lives, from the economy to our health to recreation and leisure. We can think of few other efforts that are so far-reaching.