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.

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.

Priest Point Park - Restoration Work Parties!

Thanks to a $20,000 grant from REI Co-op, we have completed a new trail to the beach at Priest Point Park. Now we are focusing on decommissioning a user path that is causing erosion, pulling invasive plants species and planting native vegetation.   Meet at the picnic table near restroom #3, south of the playground.

Saturday December 10 10:00am-1:00pm

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday  November  30 - 9:30 am-12:00pm

Join us as we focus on raking leaves, eradicating invasive plants, and weeding.  Meet at the entrance to the park at 1010 Plum St. SE.  Parking is available the Lee Creighton Center at 900 Plum St. SE.

Mission Creek Nature Park- Saturday, December 3 - 10:00am-1:00pm 

Join staff from Park Stewardship, Water Resources and the Stewards of Mission Creek as we work to restore an area of the park back to native plants.  Meet at the entrance to the park located at 1700 San Francisco Ave NE.  Limited parking available along the street.  Sturdy waterproof shoes/boots are a must!

Priest Point Park- Sunday, December 4 - 10:00am-1:00pm 

Come out to help us improve the trails at Priest Point Park!  Our focus will be to add gravel and repair erosion issues on the Woodsy Wonder trails.  Meet near the trailhead adjacent to restroom #1. Priest Point Park is located at 2600 East Bay Drive NE.  Signs directing you to the meeting area will be in the park.  

Grass Lake Nature Park- Wednesday, December 7 - 10:00am-1:00pm 

Looking to get your daily steps in? Help brush back the remote trail at Grass Lake Nature Park.   Meet at the entrance located at 3432 6th Ave NW.  Directional signs will be posted in the neighborhood. On street parking available. 

LBA Woods- Saturday, December 10 - 10:00am-1:00pm 

Come check out the newly acquired LBA Woods!  Help the "Friends of LBA Woods" remove Scots broom and Himalayan blackberry from this beautiful property.   Park at LBA Park parking lot located at 3333 Morse-Merryman Rd SE.  Follow signs directing to work party site.  Sturdy shoes/boots are a must! For more information contact Maria Ruth at mariaruthbooks@comcast.net.

Priest Point Park- Wednesday, December 28 - 9:30am-12:00pm 

Join us for the last work party of the year at Priest Point Park!  Our focus will be to remove invasive English Ivy from the newly finished trail site.  Priest Point Park is located at 2600 East Bay Drive NE.  Meet at the picnic table near restroom #3, south of the playground. 

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.

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

Congratulations to Paul Shaufler as our Volunteer of the year and 22toomany as our Adopt-a-Park group of the year for 2016!