Dakota County, MN


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Dakota County General Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

Ending Homelessness

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!

Transportation Services

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.  

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Dakota County Historical Society

Dakota City Heritage Village, Farmington

Dakota City Heritage Village is a 1900-era village and museum dedicated to connecting people to the rural past. Located in Farmington, Minnesota, just 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities on the Dakota County Fairgrounds, our five-acre site includes 22 buildings where visitors experience living history firsthand with costumed interpreters and demonstrations. Ahlberg Heritage Center, our museum, houses more than 10,000 artifacts depicting social and rural history, with an emphasis on agriculture. Events throughout the year focus on rural life 100+ years ago, including how residents met their needs for food, clothing, shelter, and social connection. School programs are scheduled throughout the spring and fall, and various group tours are offered. In addition, buildings at Dakota City are available to rent for weddings, family gatherings, and organization events.

LeDuc Historic Estate, Hastings

 

LeDuc Historic Estate was built between 1862 and 1866 by William Gates LeDuc and his wife Mary LeDuc near the Vermillion River in Hastings, Minnesota. The LeDucs were prominent early settlers of Minnesota and played significant roles in the state's growth from a territory to a state. Take a step back in time and hear stories about the LeDuc family and the history of the 1800s.


1629 Vermillion Street
Hastings, MN 55033
651-438-8480
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The Estate is open to the public Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from May 15 through October 25 and on special occasion the rest of the year.

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Dakota County Parks

County-Wide Natural Resources

Dakota County Parks offers a variety of opportunities for groups and individuals wishing to share their talents and time volunteering in their county park system. If you enjoy working with people or have a passion for nature, Dakota County Parks is the place for you.

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.  

Greenway: Big Rivers Regional Trail

Big Rivers Regional Trail | Minnesota Trails | TrailLink

Located along the northern edge of Dakota County from Eagan to Lilydale, the Big Rivers Regional Trail is a scenic 4 1/2-mile paved trail that overlooks the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. The trail also links to the 72-mile Mississippi National River and Recreation Area which offers hundreds of miles of trails throughout the greater Twin Cities area. Built on one of the state's oldest rail beds, this route offers spectacular views of historic landmarks including Fort Snelling, Pike Island and, one of Minnesota's oldest settlements, the city of Mendota.

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. 

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.

Volunteer Trail Patrol Teams

Enjoy the outdoors while assisting park visitors with questions, directions, and providing an extra support measure in case of emergencies. Our patrol units offer a vital service to our county parks by providing trained individual assistance to our park users, helping to keep everyone happy and safe on our park and regional trails. Volunteer while personally enjoying the trails yourself, so easy and fun! 

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.

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