Parks, Arts & Recreation Volunteering

Make a Difference

Volunteer planting treeVolunteers 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. Please contact the Park Stewardship program at 360.753.8365 or by email for more information.

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.   

Decatur Woods Park

Wednesday, September 30, 9:30am-12pm & Saturday, October 3, 10am - 1pm
Efforts continue at Decatur Woods Park to remove weeds and invasive species from flowerbeds and wooded areas.  Bring the family!  Meet under the small covered shelter at the park off 1015 Decatur St SW.  Limited street parking is available with additional parking in the church lot next to the park. 

Burri Park

Wednesday, October 7, 9:30am-12pm
Park Stewardship will visit this small neighborhood park to complete long needed trail maintenance on walking paths through the wooded property perimeter.  Lend a hand addressing drainage issues and resurfacing problem spots along the trail.  Meet in the large grassy area off the main entrance to the park at 2415 Burbank Ave NW.  Street parking available.   

Priest Point Park

Saturday, October 10, 8am - 2pm
Support a local youth as he completes a project with Park Stewardship to fulfill qualifications for Eagle Scout!  The project will continue improvements along the Woodsy Wonder trail at Priest Point Park, specifically tackling an area known to create drainage issues.  Meet near the maintenance center in Priest Point Park, 2600 East Bay Dr NE.  This event will accept volunteers on a rolling basis - Lend a hand for an hour, two , or the entire day!

Percival Landing

Wednesday, October 14, 9:30am - 12pm
Volunteers will meet downtown to help spruce up the northern section of Percival Landing.  Assist in sweeping sidewalks, asphalt, and clipping ivy from the roadways.  Meet next to the "Percival Landing North" park sign near Budd Bay Cafe.  Percival Landing parking is located at 405 Columbia St NW.  Follow signs to project area.

Priest Point Park

Saturday, October 17, 10am - 1pm
The Audubon Society is coming to Priest Point Park!  Lend a hand restoring native habitat with this community-minded organization.  Volunteers will meet at Shelter #4 to recieve instruction and proceed to the project site.  Priest Point Park is located at 2600 East Bay Dr NE.  Follow posted signs to the meeting location.  

Yashiro Japanese Garden

Wednesday, October 21, 9:30am - 12pm
Has another month passed already!?  Park Stewardship returns to Yashiro Japanese Garden for the monthly volunteer effort to help maintain this special place.  Lend a hand at weeding, raking, landscaping, or any other project that may need attention.  Meet inside the garden located at 1010 Plum St SE.

Grass Lake Nature Park

Saturday, October 24, 10am - 1pm
The Park Stewards of Grass Lake need your help!  Scotch broom has made a comeback in this natural sanctuary.  Join efforts to combat the invasive plant species before it becomes an even larger problem.  Meet at the 6th Avenue pedestrian entrance to the park located at 3432 6th Ave NW.  Neighborhood street parking available. 

Trillium Park

Wednesday, October 28, 930am - 12pm & Saturday, October 31, 10am - 1pm
Trillium Park needs volunteer attention!  Park Stewardship will upgrade signage, block unwanted trails, and remove invasive species at the park.  Lend a hand for this work party series!  Meet at the entrance to the park,  901 Eskridge Blvd SE.  Street parking is available.


Park Stewards are volunteer or unpaid intern positions that focus on a specific park or area of park. Park Stewards must meet the requirements listed below. To apply, submit an application and waiver to the Park Stewardship Program email or mail it to City of Olympia Parks, Attention: Park Stewardship, PO Box 1967, Olympia WA  98507.

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.

Specific 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

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.

Specific 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

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.

Specific 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

Special Requirements for all Park Steward Positions

  • 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 and criminal history questionnaire
  • For safety reasons, must wear leather or sturdy work boots

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
  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.

The application form includes a background check and criminal history questionnaire. We appreciate your attention to filling out these two very important 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.


THANK YOU! David Edwards, Travis Wilson, Julia Wilson, Momoke Wilson, Lilian Wilson, John Holmes, Lindsey Kibbe, Syrena Stevens, Harmony Stevens, Autumn Stevens, Adam Heichelbech, Lucy Tuteburg, Sarah Maki, Katie Anderson, David Wilson, Hanbich Lee, Cliff Carpenter, Shakeel Khan, Jim Nieland, Libby Nieland, Alison Garnett, Emma Song, Roberta Woods, Caitlin Freemantle, Malachai Davidson, Roma Smith, Hilary Hinkle, Micah Frankus, Paul Schaufler, Abdul Khan, Sean Conant, Spencer Johnson, Katanna Wells, John Liao, Sandy Shoultz, Jamie Teuteberg, Harrison Baker, Heather Hilf, Cris Johnson, Mari Johnson, Rehanna Ahmed, Sakina Khan, Todd Laskowski, Ann Grabler, McEvan Scofield, Ed Smith, Josh Ridgway, Andrea Gallo, Brian Andrews, Dan Teuteberg, Owen Teutberg, and Rae Verhoef for your help at National Public Lands Day in Priest Point Park!