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 thousands 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. 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.

 

Day of Caring Event - Grass Lake Nature Park - Saturday, September 23 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Olympia Park Stewardship, Water Resources, Stream Team and The United Way of Thurston County are partnering together for a meaningful volunteer work party restoring native habitat in this lovely nature preserve. We will be digging out invasive Himalayan blackberry, so long pants and sturdy shoes are required. Gloves, tools, and light refreshments will be provided. Meet just inside the park entrance, located at 814 Kaiser Rd. NW. ***Please note that Google Maps will lead you south of the actual entrance**The entrance is located just north of Fairfield Court NW.*** Very limited street parking available. Register on the Stream Team website here. For more information, please call 360.753.8365.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday, September 27 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Ready to tackle some weeds? This monthly volunteer work party will focus on weeding and raking. 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.

National Public Lands Day Event - Priest Point Park - Saturday, September 30 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Celebrate public lands! City of Olympia Parks and REI Co-op are partnering to host a fun and exciting stewardship work party for National Public Lands Day that the whole family will love. Priest Point Park needs your help with environmental restoration! Tools, gloves and light refreshments will be provided. Sign up today for this free event! Meet at Kitchen Shelter #1. To register, please call 360.753.8380 or click here. For more information, call 360.753.8365.

Yauger Community Garden - Wednesday, October 4 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Do you like building garden beds? Join the staff of Parks, Arts, and Recreation as we upgrade the garden and ready it for winter! The park is located at 530 Alta St. SW. The garden is adjacent to Dirt Works, at the end of the parking lot. Meet just inside the garden gate. Plenty of parking available.

Madison Scenic Park - Saturday, October 7 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Let's tackle the invasive plant species! This work party will focus on weeding and removing the Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberry, and English ivy that has grown up over the summer. The park is located at 1600 10th Ave. SE. Meet inside the park, near the walnut tree. Limited parking available. Long pants strongly recommended.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday, October 11 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Time to rake some leaves! Join us as we 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.

LBA Park - LBA Woods - Saturday, October 14 - 10:00am-1:00pm, & Wednesday, October 18 - 9:30am-12:00pm

If you have not visited the beautiful LBA Woods section of LBA Park, now is the time! Join Stewardship staff, park stewards, and your fellow volunteers as we work on restoring the native habitat by removing Himalayan blackberry. Long pants and sturdy shoes required. The park is located at 3333 Morse-Merryman Rd. SE. Follow the signs to the LBA Woods trailhead, south of the parking lot. Meet at the trailhead.

Springwood Parcel - Saturday, October 21 - 10:00am-1:00pm

So many invasive plants, so little time. :)  We will focus on beautifying this lovely parcel by removing English ivy and Yellow archangel. The parcel is located at 1500 Springwood Ave. NE, but PARKING IS ONLY ALLOWED ON DEVON DRIVE NE. After parking, follow the signs to the entrance to the parcel. Meet just inside the gate.

LBA Park - Wednesday, October 25 - 9:30am-12:00pm & Saturday, October 28 - 10:00am-1:00p

Like the smell of wood chips in the morning? Me too! These volunteer work parties will focus on spreading wood chips along the running trail. Please dress for the weather! We work rain or shine...or rain.   The park is located at 3333 Morse-Merryman Rd. SE. Meet near the park kiosk (by the paved trail entering the park).

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.