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.   

Harry Fain's Legion Park -  Wednesday Feb. 17 9:30am-12pm and Saturday Feb. 20, 10am-1pm

Come on out to Harry Fain's Park for these "Super bowl" themed work Parties.  Dress in your favorite team colors and work off some steam!  Our focus during these work parties will be to remove defunct stairways in the park. During the Saturday February 20th event we will be restoring these areas with native plants.  Harry Fain's Legion Park is located at 1115 20th Ave SE.  Street parking is available 

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Saturday, Feb 27, 10am-1pm

Join us for routine maintenance in the beautiful Japanese inspired garden downtown. The focus will be on raking, weeding, trimming and other landscaping tasks.   Meet at 1010 Plum St SE.  Parking is available near the entrance in the Lee Creighton Justice Center parking lot.

Evergreen Park - Wednesday, March 2, 9:30-12pm

Your help is needed at Evergreen Park with maintaining previous restoration and weeding the tree circles. This park has so much to offer!  Our focus at this lovely, secluded West side park will be to weed the tree circles and remove invasive species.     Meet at 1445 Evergreen Park Dr. SW.  On street parking is available.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Saturday, March 5, 10am-1pm

Help a Boy Scout earn his Eagle Scout badge and pitch in on his project at Yashiro Japanese Garden.  Our goal will be to refinish the wood benches within the park and install bike racks near the entrance.   Meet at 1010 Plum St SE.  Parking is available near the entrance in the Lee Creighton Justice Center parking lot.

Trillium Park - Wednesday, March 9, 9:30-12pm

Take a morning off from your regular schedule to help out in this hidden gem of a park.   Our goal will be to remove invasive English Ivy and to create Tree "Life Savers" throughout the park.  Don't miss this one!  Meet at 900 Governor Stevens Ave SE.  On street parking is available.

 

Park Stewards are volunteer or unpaid intern positions that focus on a specific park or area of park. Park Stewards must meet the requirements listed below. To apply, submit an application and waiver to the Park Stewardship Program email or mail it to City of Olympia Parks, Attention: Park Stewardship, PO Box 1967, Olympia WA  98507.

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

To all our dedicated and hardworking volunteers: THANK YOU!! In 2015 volunteers contributed over 6,000 hours of service.