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.  

Yauger Park

Fri, October 3, 9:30am - 12pm; Sat, October 4, 10am - 1pm
Work continues at Yauger Park in preparation for the opening of a new bike pump track!  This week, volunteer efforts will focus on installing a split rail fence between the recreation zone and sensitive wetland areas.  Join volunteers and local recreation groups in this important effort.  Meet near the parking lot of Yauger Park off 530 Alta St SW.  

Mission Creek Nature Park

Sat, October 4, 9am - 3pm
Lend a hand to a local youth volunteer as he works towards achieving Eagle Scout status!  The Stewards of Mission Creek will work alongside the scouts to remove invasive species at the San Francisco Ave entrance to the park in an effort to create a more aesthetic and inviting environment for hikers and guests!  Due to prior obligations, Parks staff will not attend this event, but the group will still need volunteer help throughout the day.  Feel free to join at your convenience for an hour or even the whole day!  Meet at the entrance to Mission Creek Nature Park at 1700 San Francisco Ave NE.  

Harry Fain's Legion Park

Wed, October 8, 9:30am - 12pm
Too late in the season for painting you say?  Park Stewardship has no fear!  Join the team at Harry Fain's Legion Park to spruce up paint jobs on park features.  A rain plan will also be prepared in case of wet conditions.  Meet at 1115 20th Ave SE.  Limited street parking is available. 

Mission Creek Nature Park

Sat, October 11, 10am - 1pm
Park Stewardship returns to this nature oasis to continue work on the San Francisco Ave entrance.  Volunteer a few hours on this Saturday morning to help create an aesthetic and inviting atmosphere for all park users!  Meet at 1700 San Francisco Ave NE.  Neighborhood street parking available. 

Decatur Woods Park

Wed, October 15, 9:30am - 12pm
Journey to the westside for more invasive removal at Decatur Woods Park.  This quaint neighborhood park deserves a little facelift now and then to prevent unwanted plants from taking over.  Volunteers will meet under the small covered shelter off 1015 Decatur St SW.  Parking on the street is limited, but overflow parking is available north of the park at the end of the church parking lot off 9th Ave.  

Yauger Park

Wed, October 22, 9:30am - 12pm; Sat, October 25, 10am - 1pm; Wed, October 29; 9:30am - 12pm; Sat, November 1; 10am - 1pm
Park Stewardship will complete a series of work parties at Yauger Park to finish mitigation efforts between the new bike pump track and sensitive wetland area.  Join fellow volunteers in planting over 700 salal, oregon grape, snowberry, rose, and sword fern!  Follow directional signs to meet at the pump track project site near the skate court.  Yauger Park offers two parking lots located at 3100 Capital Mall Dr SW and 530 Alta St SW.  

 

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 succesfully 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! Abe Brian, Ian Hansen-Tillen, Maya Hansen-Tilken, Chris Linn, Jim Nieland, Chris Johnson, Mari Johnson, Spencer Johnson, Raven Demarces, Alice Linsley, Ian Robberson, Jessica Ackley, Jenna Schrier, Anna Baguib, Chris Carlson, Alena C., MeghanKarch, Harry, Collet, Bonnie Ketchum, Sadie Crase, R Williams, Ann Grabler, Sue Duffy, Steffi Schaler, Cliff Carpenter, Tessa Bondi, Angie Naillon, Wand Wilcoxon, Lulana L, Maya Hall, Sean conant, Roeland Callet, Elizabeth Yisrud, Kathy Crase, Paul Schaufler, William Funk, Roberta Woods, Linda Bove'e, Deann Frost, Steven Frost, Marika Allenda, Maddy Garcia, John Tuttle, Brian Bragdon, Wade Cherry, Jeremy L., Jennifer Gessley, Savannah Connor, Ava Connor, Emma Gayman, Sandy Shoultz, Jon Barnet, Sara Kirry, Josie Kirry, Renee Buell, Cleveland Karren, Eric So, Warren G., Micah Frankus, Hyunjin Kim, Michelle Rogers, Mark Butala, Danielle Culpin, Gary W., Cathy Von Lae, Libby Nieland, Tom Moxley, Ezra Mead, Carol Little-Reed, Dale Lormor, Jasmine Payne, Ben Mead, Shaelyn Mead, Ellie Mead, Monique Woods, Josh Kaur, James Scott and Nic Arthur for your help at Priest Point Park!