Dakota County Environmental Resources
Dakota County Recycling Ambassador Program
The Dakota County Recycling Ambassador program provides training on waste reduction, recycling, composting and solid waste.
Ambassadors agree to volunteer 30 hours putting their skills to work. Ambassadors have the opportunity to staff informational booths at community events, make presentations, and work on special projects in their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.
Fix-It Clinics provide an opportunity for residents to receive free assistance from repair savvy volunteers guiding them through each step from troubleshooting to completed repair.
Several volunteer opportunities are available to help at a Fix-It Clinic. Volunteer fixers who have skills in soldering, electronics repair, electrical repair, sewing, wood working and general tinkering are essential to making the clinics successful. General volunteers to greet residents are needed as well.
- 02.18: Fix-It Clinic - Apple Valley
- 03.19: Fix-It Clinic - West St. Paul
- 04.15: Fix-It Clinic - Hastings
- 05.21: Fix-It Clinic - Lakeville
- 06.17: Fix-It Clinic - Eagan
- 07.15: Fix-It Clinic - Farmington
- 08.19: Fix-It Clinic - Inver Grove Heights
- 09.17: Fix-It Clinic - Eagan
- 10.21: Fix-It Clinic - Hastings
- 11.18: Fix-It Clinic - Rosemount
- 12.02: Fix-It Clinic - St. Paul
Green Squad - Event Waste Management Assistance
Green Squad volunteers help our county events recycle more and create less waste. Green Squad volunteers are composed of Dakota County Recycling Ambassadors who are trained to be good stewards of our resources and to help others make smart decisions when it comes to recycling and waste management. Volunteers must first complete Dakota County's Recycling Ambassador program to participate in Green Squad events.
Protecting Dakota County’s valuable surface water and groundwater resources is an important responsibility for everyone who lives and works here.Dakota County helps protect water quality every step of the way.
Dakota County General Volunteer and Internship Opportunities
Citizen Advisory Committees
Dakota County Citizen Advisory Committees support County government by involving citizens in the decision-making process, meeting requirements of state law, helping to define community norms and standards, providing technical expertise, serving as advocates, offering feedback, and reflecting the diverse interests of County clients and residents.
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: Citizen Advisory Committee
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: County Special Board of Appeal and Equalization
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: Extension Committee
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: Library Advisory Committee
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: Planning Commission
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: Public Art Citizen Advisory Committee
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: Workforce Advisory Committee
- Adult Citizen Advisory Committees: Zoning Board of Adjustment Committee
- Youth Citizen Advisory Committees: Extension Committee
- Youth Citizen Advisory Committees: Library Advisory Committee
- Youth Citizen Advisory Committees: Public Art Citizen Advisory Committee
Eagle Scout and Gold Award Projects
Heading Home Dakota is a 10 year plan to prevent and end homelessness, which was finalized in 2012. The work to create it included a variety of surveys and focus groups, a community retreat, analysis and utilization of data on homelessness in Dakota County, and the development of a strategic plan and an implementation guide to meet the needs in our community. Please check out our plan and join us in our effort to end homelessness in Dakota County!
Internships & Temporary Positions
Dakota County is looking for the best and the brightest to join our team and take on the challenging and rewarding work of public service. The work we do is unique – we protect public health, keep our communities safe, ensure our vulnerable residents are cared for, help residents get back on their feet; protect our natural resources, get veterans the help they deserve, make sure traffic flows efficiently, inspire children to read and so much more. Grow your career at Dakota County where you can truly “Be More.”
DISCLAIMER: The opportunities listed below are not managed by Dakota County but instead are associated with an organization located in Dakota County. You may have to complete additional steps with the host organization to fully apply for this opportunity. The organizations that host these opportunities take full responsibility for the management of the events listed below.
Dakota County Parks
Dakota Woods Dog Park
Help maintain your dog's mental and physicals health by getting them outside to roam. Dakota Woods Dog Park is a 16-acre, fenced-in, wooded park that is a great place to let your dog run and exercise on and off-leash. The park is centrally located in Dakota County, just east of Rosemount and north of Farmington.
Lake Byllesby Regional Park
Lake Byllesby Regional Park is nestled in the scenic Cannon River Valley on Lake Byllesby Reservoir, the largest lake in southern Dakota County. This beautiful park offers vast open space for a variety of year-round activities including cooling off in the splash pad or lake, staying overnight in our campsite, or taking a boat ride to take in the sheer cliff facings on shore that are hundreds of years old. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the Lake Byllesby Dam before you leave.
Lebanon Hills Regional Park
Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the crown jewel and largest park in the Dakota County park system. Containing almost 2,000 acres, the park offers miles of trails and many lakes for year-round outdoor sports, recreation and environmental education. The Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, located in the eastern section of the park, offers park information, interactive nature displays, courses and programs for all ages, and equipment rentals.
Lebanon Hills Regional Park - Trails By Candlelight - February 17, 2023
The grand finale of our winter candlelight events. Enjoy Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan by flickering candlelight with more than 1,500 luminaries lining more than 4 miles of trails. A variety of cross-county ski, snowshoe, hiking and walking trails with varying distances will be lit. When you need a break, stop by one of our roaring bonfires to warm up and roast a marshmallow. Fun for the whole family.
Volunteers of all ages are needed to help support multiple activities before, during, and after to help make this event a success. All volunteers will receive free access to the event (except event takedown volunteers - you get free breakfast) and volunteers who help during the event will receive a dinner voucher to use at one of our participating food trucks. To ensure a high quality experience, pre-registration is required to volunteer. Space is limited and spots fill quickly. Check out the roster below to see what opportunities are available.
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Bonfire Tender
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Event Greeter - Outside
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Event Greeter (Bilingual) - Outside
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Event Support Assistant (Bilingual)
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Luminary Set-Up
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Shuttle Bus Greeter/Bonfire Tender
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Ski and Snowshoe Assistant
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Trail Patrol (Ski)
- 2.17: Trails by Candlelight - Trail Patrol (Walk/Snowshoe)
- 2.18: Trails By Candlelight - Luminary Removal Volunteer
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve is a large nature preserve that provides miles of trails for you to enjoy the picturesque Cannon River Valley. Located at the confluence of Trout Brook and the Cannon River near Miesville, this beautiful park offers the feel of scenic southeastern Minnesota in our very own backyard.
Spring Lake Park Reserve
Enjoy the feel of northern Minnesota from this scenic park that overlooks the Mississippi River. A rest stop along the Great River Road, Spring Lake Park Reserve is the "hidden jewel" of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. The Schaar’s Bluff Trailhead and picnic area provide a scenic overlook of the Mississippi River Valley as well as access to summer hiking and winter ski trails.
Thompson County Park
This charming 57-acre park provides a quiet get-a-way in the midst of West St. Paul. The park features a large picnic and playground area that overlooks Thompson Lake and miles of wooded trails that link Thompson County Park to Kaposia Park and to the Mississippi River Regional Trail. Thompson County Park is also the home of the Dakota Lodge — a four-season event center that is perfect for weddings, reunions, meetings, banquets, retreats, parties and much more.
Whitetail Woods Regional Park
Whitetail Woods Regional Park is located in Empire Township in the center of Dakota County, one mile north of the Vermillion River. Whitetail Woods provides year round fun from sledding down hill in the winter to enjoying a walk through the flowering prairie during the spring to taking in the relaxing sounds of an outdoor concert during the summer. Looking to get away for a weekend? Unique cabins for rent offer year-round comfy lodging for you and your family to explore the outdoors.