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.   

Madison Scenic Park

Wednesday, May 20, 9:30am-12pm & Saturday, May 23, 10am-1pm 
Invasive plants are rampant at Madison Scenic Park.  Join the crowd to tackle English Ivy, Himalayan Blackberry, Scotchbroom, and Morning Glory!  Meet inside the park at the bottom of the switchback trail.  Madison Scenic Park is located at 1600 10th Ave SE.

Yashiro Japanese Garden

Wednesday, May 27, 9:30am-12pm
The monthly effort at Yashiro Japanese Garden continues!  Get your hands dirty alongside park stewards to help maintain delicate flowerbeds in this historic oasis.  Meet inside the garden located at 1010 Plum St SE. 

Woodruff Park

Saturday, May 30, 10am-1pm
Park Stewardship hits this historic westside park with shovels and rakes to weed and mulch flowerbeds and tree circles.  Come join the party!  Woodruff Park is located at 1500 Harrison Ave NW.  Meet near the tennis courts. 

Priest Point Park

Wednesday & Friday, June 3 & 5, 9:30am-12pm
National Trails Day is fast approaching!  Help prepare for this exciting event through weekday work parties at Priest Point Park.  Volunteers will meet at Kitchen Shelter #1 to organize and head to the project site.  Priest Point Park is located at 2600 East Bay Dr NE.

National Trails Day! - Priest Point Park 

Saturday, June 6, 10am-1pm
Celebrate National Trails Day with Park Stewardship!  Efforts will focus on the woodsy wonder trail in Priest Point Park. Meet in Shelter #1 off 2600 East Bay Dr NE. Sign up today for this free event!

Garfield Nature Trail

Wednesday & Friday, June 10 & 12, 9:30am-12pm
The time for ivy pulls is not over yet!  Join Park Stewards at Garfield Nature Trail to remove English Ivy as part of ongoing restoration efforts.  Volunteers will meet at the trailhead, 620 Rogers St NW. Street parking available.

Olympia Woodland Trail

Saturday, June 13, 10am - 1pm
Help beautify the trailhead of Olympia Woodland Trail!  Weeding flowerbeds will be first priority.  Meet under the covered shelter at the entrance to the trail at 1600 Eastside St SE.  

Park of the Seven Oars

Wednesday & Friday, June 17 & 19, 9:30am-12pm
Park Stewardship returns to this small sanctuary as the weeding season progresses.  Join in the effort to combat horsetail, dandelions, and common grasses in the flower beds!  Park of the Seven Oars is located at 202 West Bay Dr NW.  Limited street parking is available along West Bay Drive. 

Bring Your Father to Work Day! - LBA Park 

Saturday, June 20, 10am - 1pm
Celebrate Father's Day with an engaging and interactive work party for all ages!  Join Park Stewardship at LBA Park for a chance to beautify this lovely space for the busy summer season.  A special treat will be provided for all participants!  Bring the family (especially Dad) to this unique event.  Meet at the shelter in LBA Park, 3500 Amhurst St SE. 

Yashiro Japanese Garden

Wednesday, June 24, 9:30am-12pm
Monthly park improvements continue at Yashiro Japanese Garden!  Grab a pair of gloves and join in!  Volunteers will weed flower beds to help maintain this unique vegetation and landscape.  Meet inside the garden located at 1010 Plum St SE.  

Decatur Woods Park

Wednesday, July 1, 9:30am-12pm
Let the weeding begin!  As part of the Pesticide Free Park initiative, volunteers are needed to help keep up with landscape maintenance in neighborhood parks.  Join Park Stewardship at Decatur Woods to keep unwanted vegetation at bay.  Meet under the covered shelter.  Decatur Woods Park is located at 1015 Decatur St SW. 

Friendly Grove Park

Friday, July 3, 9:30am-12pm 
Vegetation control continues on the eastside of Olympia!  Volunteer at Friendly Grove Park to weed tree circles and flower beds that were mulched earlier in the season.  Meet under the covered shelter near the main park entrance at 2316 Friendly Grove Rd NE.  

 

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 successfully 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! Cassie Elness, Mitya Krishnakumar, Micah Frankus, Jackson Hall, Raven DeMatas, Korey Twombly, Karina Borja, Nick Heay, Peter Choi, Sean Conant, Pasang Sheopa, Ben McBride, Scott Campbell, Curtis DeBell, Aaron Raymond, Nicole Amacker, Katharine Cowan, Alec Williams, Alex Richter, Aidan Hoey, Amir Almemar, Nick Barber, Isaiah Rogers, Kimberly Pracnyl, Todd Lasko, Leo Spencer, Carlene Crawford, Justyce Gomez, Glynn Saelid, Jade Santana, and Claire Halperin for your help at Sunrise Park!