Parks, Arts & Recreation Volunteering

Make a Difference

Parks volunteerVolunteers enable Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation to offer a wonderful array of affordable recreational, educational and cultural programs. Volunteers also contribute of hours of time to maintain and improve our parks.

Areas of volunteer interest include special events, after school programs, camps, athletics, gym supervision, teen program, bulb planting, trail maintenance, arts and clerical work.

Our volunteers come in all ages and many times work directly with the public in providing customer service to the community. Our volunteers do tremendous work and have great fun as well!


Volunteer in Parks

The Volunteer in Parks program offers a variety of ways to help Olympia's parks. You can join an upcoming work party, become a Park Steward, or Adopt-a-Park with your neighborhood/organization. Tools, gloves and some refreshments are provided. All ages are welcome to participate.

Work Parties

For all work parties, please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots that can get wet and muddy. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle. Youth under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult and all youth under 18 years must have a signed Waiver and Medical Alert or have a parents' signature on the sign-in roster at the project work site.

 

Priest Point Park - Wednesday, Saturday, November 24th - 10:00am-1:00pm

Need to burn a few Thanksgiving calories? Join Park Stewardship staff as we begin restoring forested habitats by planting native understory vegetation. The park is located at 2600 East Bay Dr. NE. Meet near the Mission Creek Estuary Trail, just south of the playground. Plenty of parking available.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday, November 28 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Winter is coming! And with it, the leaf litter. Help us rake and weed this lovely downtown park. The park is located at 1010 Plum St. SE. Meet at the side entrance to the park. Parking is available at the Lee Creighton Justice Center, 900 Plum St. SE. 

Grass Lake Nature Park - Saturday, December 1 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Pacific Northwest winters = planting season! Join City of Olympia staff as we restore wetland habitats in this lovely nature preserve. This work party will focus on planting about 200 native plants. The park is located at 814 Kaiser Rd. NW. Limited parking available on the street (mostly southbound on Kaiser Rd). Meet just inside the entrance.

Springwood Parcel (formerly known as Zabel's Rhododendron Garden) - Wednesday, December 5 -  9:30am-12:00pm

Like digging in the dirt? This work party is for you! We will focus on removing the little "volunteer" seedlings that have popped up in this lovely parcel. The plants removed will be planted at Priest Point Park this winter. The parcel is located at 1500 Springwood Ave NE, but PARKING IS ONLY ALLOWED ON DEVON DR. NE. After parking, follow the signs to the entrance to the parcel. Meet just inside the gate.

Madison Scenic Park - Saturday, December 8 - 10:00am-1:00pm

The restoration work parties continue! Join us as we plant native plants on a slope previously overrun by Himalayan blackberry. Sturdy work boots/shoes a must! The park is located at 1600 10th Ave SE. Limited parking available. Meet inside the park by the large walnut tree.

Karen Fraser Woodland Trail - Wednesday, December 12 -  9:30am-12:00pm

Prepare to get dirty, friends! This volunteer work party will entail tilling the compact earth just south of the trail. The trail entrance is at 1600 Eastside St. SE. Meet near the restrooms. We will walk a ways down the trail to the work site, so be on time! Limited parking available.

Grass Lake Nature Park - Saturday, December 15 - 10:00am-1:00pm

We can't spell trail beautification without u! :)  Join the Stewardship team as we gravel and brush back the trail in this wonderful park. The park is located at 814 Kaiser Rd. NW. Limited parking available on the street (mostly on the southbound side of Kaiser Rd). Meet inside the park near the trailhead.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday, December 19 -  9:30am-12:00pm

The leaves are falling, so we need your help raking and weeding this lovely downtown park. The park is located at 1010 Plum St. SE. Meet at the side entrance to the park. Parking is available at the Lee Creighton Justice Center, 900 Plum St. SE. 

LBA Park - Saturday, December 22 - 10:00am-1:00pm & Wednesday, December 26 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Need to get your daily steps in? Then this work party for you! We will focus on spreading wood chips along the jogging trail. Meet near the covered sign just inside the park, upper parking lot. The park entrance is located at 3333 Morse-Merryman Rd. SE. Plenty of parking available.

Priest Point Park (Northeast Neighborhood Connection Trail) - Saturday, December 29 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Did you know the Washington Trails Association has created a brand new trail in the southern part of the park? With funding from an REI grant, we are able to provide better access for those in the Northeast Neighborhood. This work party will entail gravelling the new 600 foot trail. Please park on the SOUTHBOUND side of East Bay Drive NE, across from Howard Ave NE. Directional signs will be posted. Meet at the top of Howard Ave NE.

Steward Positions

Locations
Evergreen Park, Garfield Nature Trail, Grass Lakes Refuge, Margaret McKenny Park, McGrath Woods Park, Mission Creek Nature Park, Olympia Woodland Trail, Priest Point Park, Trillium Park, Watershed Park, and Yauger Park.

Duties

  • Identify and pull invasive plants
  • Replant, and care for native plants until they are established
  • Report overnight camping to Park Ranger
  • Clean graffiti off surfaces
  • Pick up litter
  • Report damaged structures, such as bridges or board walks to Supervisor
  • Help in finding donated native plants for replanting projects
  • Complete annual report on activities, and track hours

Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Ability to commit to a 6 month minimum period of service 
  • Must successfully complete a background check
  • For safety reasons, must wear leather or sturdy work boots

Locations
Burri Park, Evergreen Park, Garfield Nature Trail, Grass Lakes Refuge, Margaret McKenny Park, McGrath Woods Park, Mission Creek Nature Park, Olympia Woodland Trail, Priest Point Park, Trillium Park, Watershed Park, and Yauger Park.

Duties

  • Maintain trails to OPARD standards
  • Pull invasive plants from trail
  • Clear debris from trail
  • Re-grade eroding trails
  • Add surfacing when needed, such as crushed rock
  • Cut back vegetation from encroaching on trail (within 4 ft standard)
  • Clean graffiti off signs
  • Pick up litter along trail
  • Report damaged structures, such as bridges or board walks to Supervisor
  • Help in finding donated materials for the trails
  • Complete annual report on activities, and track hours

Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Ability to commit to a 6 month minimum period of service 
  • Must successfully complete a background check
  • For safety reasons, must wear leather or sturdy work boots

Locations
Evergreen Park, Margaret McKenny Park, McGrath Woods Park, Priest Point Park Rose Garden, Lion’s Park, Bigelow Park, Harry Fain’s Legion Park, Burri Park, Woodruff Park, Yashiro Japanese Garden, Madison Scenic Park, and Friendly Grove.

Duties

  • Pull weeds
  • Edge flower beds
  • Apply new mulch or bark
  • Clean graffiti off surfaces
  • Pick up litter
  • Report any damages to Supervisor
  • Occasional plantings
  • Repaint benches, picnic tables & wood signs
  • Complete annual report on activities, and track hours

Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Ability to commit to a 6 month minimum period of service 
  • Must successfully complete a background check
  • For safety reasons, must wear leather or sturdy work boots

Questions?

For more information about the above opportunities, contact Park Stewardship staff at 360.753.8365 or parkstewardship@ci.olympia.wa.us.


Recreation Program & Event Volunteers

To volunteer to assist with Parks, Arts & Recreation programs such as camps, events and athletics:

  1. Complete the Volunteer Application Form and Medical Waiver
  2. Return it to The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, WA 98501.

Once received, we will contact you to discuss a volunteer placement. If one cannot be arranged at that time, we will keep your application for one year and notify you as opportunities arise.

Once a volunteer placement has been decided upon, the volunteer is required to successfully pass a background check. The background check information will be provided via email to the volunteer at which time the volunteer will be asked to complete an online form. We appreciate your attention to completely filling out these forms. Our volunteer screening process is a crucial step in assuring your safety as well as the safety of our customers.

We look forward to discussing volunteer opportunities with you. Please feel free to contact us at 360.753.8380 if you have any questions regarding the volunteer application process.