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Municipal Volunteer Program

MVP Contact:
Stephanie Schrader
Community Services Coordinator
Community Development

How are we doing? Please take this short survey and tell us about your volunteer experience with the City of Cedar Rapids.

Thank you to our volunteers! We are #CRStrong because of you! 


Wellbeing Advisory committee

2020 Volunteer Impact Report

Cedar Rapids residents are actively involved and interested in promoting community well being.  This spirit of involvement is the foundation of our community. Serving your community by providing your time as a volunteer is an investment in your community, but also has personal rewards. Benefits of community service include:

  • Volunteering connects you to others
  • Volunteering is good for the mind and body
  • Volunteering is rewarding
  • Volunteering can provide new skills
Please consider volunteering your time to a cause of interest to you that will benefit the Cedar Rapids community and our residents.  Below are many MVP Volunteer Opportunities available within the City. 


Sign up for volunteer opportunities
If you are interested in volunteering with the City but don't see a specific opportunity that fits your interests, fill out our volunteer information sheet so we can notify you of upcoming volunteer opportunities that match your interests and skills. 

Animal Care and Control 
Love furry friends? Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control welcomes volunteers who want to make a contribution to the welfare of animals in our community. Volunteers play a crucial role helping care for animals, assisting with front desk duties, fundraisers, or providing walks and socialization for the animals at Animal Care & Control. Click here to learn more or contact Connie Schierholz at 319-286-5993 or by email AnimalControlMgmt@cedar-rapids.org.

CleanUpCR is a collaborative program designed to provide residents and businesses with the resources to keep Cedar Rapids a clean, healthy place to live. Click here to find out more about various CleanUp initiatives, including the City Manager's One Bag Challenge. Contact Vincent Snyder at 319-286-5897 or by email Solid-Waste-Recycling@cedar-rapids.org.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library Volunteer Program supports and enriches the library by engaging community volunteers through meaningful volunteer opportunities. Whether you care for materials, greet customers, or help with children’s programs, there is a flexible opportunity for you. Volunteer opportunities are available for adults, families, teens, retirees, and small groups; you can volunteer at the Downtown or Ladd Library. Find out more here. Contact Jessica Link, Volunteer Coordinator at 319-739-0403 or by email linkj@crlibrary.org.

Civic Engagement
The City of Cedar Rapids is committed to government transparency, citizen participation, and clear communication. As a part of our public outreach, we actively seek to provide information to the public about city government and inform residents of opportunities to participate in public meetings.

There are a variety of ways for residents to stay engaged in the community. Residents are encouraged to attend public meetings, which are posted online here. Residents can also subscribe to City news to receive email or text notifications of public meeting postings, news, or calendar events.

Participate in Council Meetings
City Council meetings are generally held the second and fourth Tuesday of every month in the Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall unless otherwise posted. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at 319-286-5060 or cityclerk@cedar-rapids.org.

Serve on City Boards and Commissions
Participate in City government by serving on one of the City’s many boards, commissions and advisory committees. These advisory groups partner with the Cedar Rapids City Council and City staff to guide the future of our community. Service on a board or commission is an excellent way for residents to become involved in the operation of local government and to contribute to the quality of life in Cedar Rapids. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at 319-286-5060 or city-clerk@cedar-rapids.org.

Fire Academy
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department offers residents a unique way to experience the firefighting career with the Citizens' Fire Academy. The Academy includes 15 hours of instruction and practical experience. Residents will discover firefighting is more than putting out fires, but also includes rescue operations, emergency medical services, fire prevention and education. Contact Sydney Wright, Public Education, at 319-286-5200 or s.wright@cedar-rapids.org.

Police Volunteer Opportunities
Have you ever wanted to spend time in a law enforcement environment, or provide assistance to your local police department? Here is your chance. The Cedar Rapids Police Department has several volunteer programs including Police Volunteer Corps and the Citizens Police Academy. Contact Sergeant Jen Roberts at 319-286-5433 or j.roberts@cedar-rapids.org.

Youth Engagement
The City has several programs that actively engage youth including Parks and Recreation youth sports, a number of public safety programs and Explorer for youth interested in law enforcement. For questions about the Explorer program, Contact Officer Shawn Burke at 319-286-5454 ext. 6951 or S.Burke@cedar-rapids.org.

The Mayor’s Youth Conference allows students to explore educational and career opportunities in the area, network with the next generation of young professionals, and discover how they can grow and thrive in Cedar Rapids after graduation. The Mayor’s Youth Conference was held October 9, 2023. Visit Mayor's Youth Conference for2024 updates. 

Neighborhood Associations
A neighborhood association is a group of residents who meet regularly to accomplish specific goals in their neighborhood. Neighborhood associations offer a place to meet friends, exchange information, create projects and priorities, propose solutions, and have fun. A neighborhood association is an excellent way to improve your neighborhood and develop a spirit of community and pride. Find current neighborhood associations or how to get started here. Contact Jeff Wozencraft at 319-286-5772 or J.Wozencraft@cedar-rapids.org.

Public Works
The City of Cedar Rapids offers a number of ways individuals or groups can help protect and restore our natural surface water resources. By volunteering you can help make a difference in the health of our streams, lakes and the Cedar River. Remember, protecting our waterways starts with you.

Storm Drain Markers
Storm drain markers are colorful, plastic curb markers are used to remind everyone that if you pour something down a storm drain or into a gutter, it is just as though you poured it directly into a local lake, stream or the Cedar River. Help the City mark the storm drains so everyone that sees them will remember - only rain should go down the drain. Fill out our application, or email Sewer@cedar-rapids.org for more information.

Adopt-a-storm drain
Sign up to adopt-a-storm drain near your work or home, committing to keeping them clear of leaves and other debris year round. Clearing storm drains of debris keeps these materials from reaching receiving waters as well as keeps storm drains from clogging which helps prevent local flooding. Fill out our application, or email Sewer@cedar-rapids.org for more information.

Snow Buddies 
The Snow Buddies program pairs residents in need of assistance with "Snow Heroes" — volunteers who can help clear sidewalks of snow and ice accumulations in the winter. The program is intended to benefit residents who are not physically able to remove snow and do not have other resources to remove snow, such as neighbors, friends or a hired service. Snow Buddies Page  Contact Stephanie Schrader at 319-286-5855 or snowbuddies@cedar-rapids.org for more information. 

Parks and Recreation
Volunteers are an integral element to the Parks and Recreation Department. The Department uses many volunteers to help maintain golf courses, plant and weed gardens, keep our parks clean and beautiful, assist with special events, coach a sports team, and more. Learn more and apply to volunteer with Parks and Rec.

Garden Buddies -NEW in 2023!
MMU Garden Buddies

Thank you Mount Mercy University Golf Team for clearing plots at Ellis Park!

All our gardens have been cleared out for 2023, please check back for Oct. 2024! 

Community garden clean-up crews support the four community gardens in Cedar Rapids by providing end-of-season plot clean up. Groups work together in one of the four City gardens located at Ellis Park, Tuma Park, near Gardner Golf Course, and Sinclair Park. Garden Buddies remove any non-organic items (fencing, stakes, tomato cages, etc.) left in the plots.

Garden Buddy volunteers should dress for outdoor work and bring water to drink. City staff will train volunteers on site. Group sizes are flexible, 10-16 volunteers are ideal for the three larger locations, the group could be smaller for clean up at Sinclair Park. Time commitments are flexible, plot clean-up generally occurs in mid-October. This is a great opportunity for groups to get involved with supporting healthy food access in the community. Contact Stephanie Schrader at 319-286-5855 or s.schrader@cedar-rapids.org.

Golf -  Lisa Grekoff 319-286-5588 l.grekoff@cedar-rapids.org
Noelridge Greenhouse -  Lori Farmer 319-286-5760 or L.Farmer@cedar-rapids.org
Parks - Heather Vasquez 319-286-5750 or H.Vasquez@cedar-rapids.org
Special Populations - Barbara Penning at 319-286-5744 or b.penning@cedar-rapids.org
Ushers Ferry Historic Village - Ann Cejka at 319-286-5743 or a.cejka@cedar-rapids.org
Youth Sports - Grant Weber at 319-286-5698 or g.weber@cedar-rapids.org.

Veterans Memorial Building

Love art?  Love history?  Join us as a front desk reception volunteer at the historical Veterans Memorial Building. If you have a passion for local history and a warm, welcoming demeanor, we want you! As a reception volunteer, you'll be the friendly first impression greeting visitors, providing directions, information, and assistance as people wander our museums boasting the rich tapestry of our community's heritage. Schedules are flexible Monday-Friday between 8:00 am -8:00 pm. For more information contact Tish at 319.286.5038 or t.young@cedar-rapids.org.

Looking for more?
United Way of East Central Iowa is a great resource for individuals, groups and businesses to get connected with local volunteer opportunities. Contact Angelica Vannatta at angelica.vannatta@uweci.org or 319-398-5372 ext. 822 for more information.

© 2024  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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