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.

 

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesdays, June 28 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Weeding and Vitamin D? It's a winning combination!  Meet at the garden entrance near the parking lot. The park is located at 1010 Plum St. SE. Parking is located in the Lee Creighton Justice Center parking lot at 900 Plum Street SE.

Springwood Parcel (formerly known as Zabel's Rhododendron Garden) - Saturday, July 1 - 10:00am-1:00pm & Wednesday, July 5 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Come and see what a difference volunteers can make! We will be continuing our efforts on removing the invasive plants covering this lovely parcel. 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.

Watershed Park (22nd Ave. Pedestrian Entrance) - Saturday, July 8 - 10:00am-1:00pm

It is time for trail work! Join us for a trail restoration volunteer work party. We will be gravelling parts of the Watershed Park trail system and tackling a few drainage issues. Meet at Harry Fain's Legion Park located at 1115 20th Ave SE.  We will walk over to the pedestrian entrance from there.  Parking available at Harry Fain's Legion Park. 

Watershed Park (McCormick Court Pedestrian Entrance) - Wednesday, July 12 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Get out of the heat! Help us pull out invasive Yellow archangel and stay cool under the canopy of the massive trees in Watershed Park. The McCormick Ct. pedestrian entrance is located at 2308 McCormick Ct. SE. Street parking available.  Meet by the trailhead.   

Decatur Woods Park - Saturday, July 15 - 10:00am-1:00pm

This beautiful park needs some love! We will be weeding, removing invasive plants, and completing general beautification tasks. The park is located at 1015 Decatur St. SW. Parking can be found street side as well as at the church next door. 

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

Join us for our monthly volunteer work party at this downtown gem! We will be weeding, having a snack, then more weeding! The park is located at 1010 Plum St. SE. Parking is available at the Lee Creighton Justice Center, 900 Plum St. SE. Meet at the side entrance to 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.