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.

 

Ellis Cove Trail Grant Project

Thanks to a generous grant from REI Co-op, we have contracted with the Washington Trails Association (WTA) to bring much needed repair and maintenance to Ellis Cove Trail in Priest Point Park. WTA hosts volunteer work parties lead by trail experts on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit wta.org/volunteer.

Springwood Parcel - Saturday, December 16 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Come and see for yourself how rewarding it is to pull out English holly, Himalayan blackberry, and English ivy! 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.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday, December 20 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Join our stewards and Parks staff as we rake leaves and weed this beautiful downtown park. The park is located at 1010 Plum St. SE. Meet at the side entrance to the park. Parking is available at the Lee Creighton Justice Center, 900 Plum St. SE.

West Bay Park - Wednesday, December 27 - 9:30am-12:00pm & Saturday, December 30 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Beautiful views of the Capitol building and Budd Inlet! Our focus for these volunteer work parties will be removing invasive plants, weeding, and mulching. Meet near the bike shelter. The park is located at 700 West Bay Dr. NW. Limited parking available.

Priest Point Park - Saturday, January 6 - 10:00am-1:00pm

The restoration project along the Mission Creek Estuary Trail continues! We will be removing English ivy growing along a slope. Please wear sturdy shoes with ankle support and be prepared to get muddy. :)  Meet at kitchen shelter #4. The park is located at 2600 East Bay Dr. NE. Plenty of parking available.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday, January 10 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Winter is here, and so is the leaf litter. Join us as we rake and weed this hidden downtown gem. The park is located at 1010 Plum St. SE. Meet at the side entrance to the park. Parking is available at the Lee Creighton Justice Center, 900 Plum St. SE.

MLK Day of Service Volunteer Work Party - Saturday, January 13 - 10:00am-1:00pm

"Life's most persistent and urgent questions is: What are you doing for others?"  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Join the City of Olympia and Stream Team in honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a service project at Mission Creek Nature Park. We will be planting over 1,000 native plants and live tree stakes to help enhance the wetland and aquatic habitat at the park. Tools, gloves, and light refreshments provided. Register at www.StreamTeam.info. Dress for the weather and wear your boots!  Parking/drop off is at Roosevelt Elementary School, 1417 San Francisco Ave. NE. Follow the signs and meet at the trail head to Mission Creek Nature Park at 1700 San Francisco Ave. NE.

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.