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 Christina Lamour or Sylvana Niehuser 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. 

West Bay Park

Tue, April 22 & Fri, April 25, 9:30am-12pm; Saturday, April 26, 10am - 1pm
Join us at West Bay Park for these series of fun work parties! Help us weed and spruce up this beautiful waterfront park. We will focus on weeding the beds and getting the park ready for spring. Meet near the covered bike shelter. West Bay Park is located at 700 West Bay Dr NW. 

Sunrise Park

Thu, May 1, 9:30am-12pm
Come out to the Sunrise Community Garden! Join Luke Burns from Parks, Arts & Recreation with community gardeners to tend to the strawberry bed, turn over compost and weed along the fence and pathways. Take advantage of this great opportunity to meet community members and learn how the gardens function. Meet at the Community Garden in front of the small parking lot. Sunrise Park is located at 505 Bing St NW. 

Yashiro Japanese Garden

Wed, April 30 & Fri, May 2, 9:30am-12pm; Saturday, May 3, 10am - 1pm
Park Stewardship will tackle weeds at Yashiro Japanese Garden to welcome the month of May!  Gather your sunglasses and t-shirts to join fellow volunteers in the serene ambiance of this beautiful City oasis.  Meet inside the park entrance to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy street.  Yashiro Japanese Garden is located at 1010 Plum St SE. 

Sunrise Park

Wed, May 7 & Fri, May 9, 9:30am-12pm; Saturday, May 10, 10am - 1pm
Welcome the sunshine with a visit to Sunrise Park!  Join Park Stewardship in removing invasive species as well as weeding and mulching tree circles at this popular west side park.  Sunrise Park is located at 505 Bing St NW.  Volunteers will meet off the parking lot near the large open grass area. 

Watershed Park

Wed, May 14 & Fri, May 16, 9:30am - 12pm
All parks need loving care!  Join fellow volunteers in dispersing yard debris in Watershed Park from consolidated piles to degradable material throughout the park.  This project will greatly contribute to future efforts in keeping our parks clean!  Meet at the entrance of Watershed Park off 1717 McCormick St NE. 

Madison Scenic Park

Saturday, May 17, 10am - 1pm
Invasive species stand no chance!  Come out to support the southeast neighborhood in collaboration with New Bridge Community Church to remove ivy and blackberry from impeding beautiful city views in Madison Scenic Park!  Meet at the bottom boundary of the park near the small parking lot off 1600 10th Ave SE.

 

Park Stewards are volunteer or unpaid intern positions that require at least 4 volunteer hours per month and a 6 month minimum commitment. All Park Stewards must be 18 or older and succesfully complete a background check and criminal history questionnaire.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.


 

Recognition

THANK YOU! Jim Nieland, Roberta Woods, Micah Frankus, Clifford Carpenter, Yu Che Lin, Lorenzo Martin, Maggie Bauer, Alex Hougan, Jake Holt, Paul Schaufler, Haley Warren, Christine Buckley, Jacob Tramel, Chris Attias, Alaka Lindsley, Danni Sabia, Sue Koontz, Maggie Koontz, Daniel Worman, Kenji Scott, Yoshiko Scott, Marcia Wiley, and Genevieve Becker for your help at Priest Point Park.