Understaffed DNR hiring seasonal help - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Understaffed DNR hiring seasonal help

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There's no shortage of work to be done at Lake Macbride State Park.

"Here you mow every single day and by the time you finish on one end, it's ready to mow again on the next end," said Mike Howell, who was recently given a job with the Department of Natural Resources.

In 16 years as park manager, Ron Puettmann has never been this short-staffed.

"You work here so long and you want things to look really good, and we just had nobody here to do all of the mowing that was necessary and all of the upkeep," he said.

As a result, Puettmann and one full-time park ranger were forced to focus only on the most pressing needs, keeping restrooms and trails cleaned, and mowing the campground, beach, and lodging areas.  They were responsible for the upkeep of the 2,200 acre park.

This year, lawmakers have approved funding that will give the DNR some much needed assistance.

Puettmann has brought on David Turner and Howell full time to help catch up, leading up to a busy Labor Day weekend.

"A lot of trimming along the shorelines," Turner sad.

"It'll be awesome to bring in an extra two sets of hands to help keep things trimmed up and mowed and looking good for the holiday weekend," Puettmann said.

Volunteers have been crucial during the difficult times.  One volunteer effort helped to create signage along the Northshore trail.

The seasonal staff will be on board through September.

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