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 Christina Lamour or Sylvana Niehuser 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. 

Priest Point Park

Wed, September 17, 9:30am - 12pm
Ivy Pulls return to Priest Point Park as we prepare for National Public Lands Day. Volunteers will pull ivy along the beach trail in a final push to restore the critical area. Help ensure that the restoration area is free from all roots and tiny sprigs before planting begins! Join in the effort and meet at Shelter #2 in Priest Point Park at 2600 East Bay Dr NE.   

Watershed Park

Sat, September 20, 9am - 3pm
Eagle Scout candidate, Noah Anderson, will lead trail restoration efforts at Watershed Park. Improvements will focus on diverting water from the trail and creating a safer, cleaner passage for park visitors. Meet at the side entrance to Watershed Park at 2308 McCormick Ct SE. Limited street parking is available. Join us anytime between 9am and 3pm to lend a hand in support of this Eagle Scout project!

Bigelow Springs Park

Sat, September 20, 9am - 12pm
The Bigelow Neighborhood Association needs your help!  Join in volunteer efforts to re-face Bigelow Springs Park in this first of a series of fall work parties.  Participants will construct a short walking trail to the springs within the park as outlined in a recent community grant awarded to the organization.  Meet at Bigelow Springs Park, 930 Bigelow Ave NE. Limited street parking is available.

Priest Point Park - National Public Lands Day Stewardship Event!

Sat, September 27, 10am - 1pm
The Park Stewardship Program, along with REI, is hosting a fun and exciting stewardship work party for National Public Lands Day that the whole family will love! Come help revive Priest Point Park by continuing restoration efforts along the beach trail including planting of native species and resurfacing the trail with gravel! Tools, gloves and light refreshments will be provided.  Register today for a chance to win sweet swag from REI!  Meet at Shelter #2 in Priest Point Park located at 2600 East Bay Dr NE. 

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.  

 

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! Matt Neeley, Judy Petersen, Riley Neeley, Colby Neeley, Elijah Labit, David Severske, DJ Jackson, Ayan Nelson, Carolyn Cornwall, Jacob Cornwall, Lynette Lindelof, Ala Lindelof, Robert Petersen, Elise Broseth, Zobdi Hernandez, Bruce Runyon, Paul Schaufler, Marjorie Martin, Craig Martin, Melanie Engen, Elizabeth Engen, Markus Engen, Alta Engen, Eric So, Mary Snow, Michelle Elton, Barb Litchfield, Anthony Litchfield, Mark Nielsen, Kevin Nielsen, Danica Chapman, Annika Boone, Blake Crockett, Chase Crockett, Tyson Crockett, Melissa Burrell, Ingram Sterling, Donnelle Cochran, John Laulugster, Bill Elton, Darke Loose, Evan Loose, Xander Robertson, Teresa Robertson, Paul Robertson, Karla Jensen, Austin Jensen, Sean Conant, David Chard, Michael Chard, Elliott Chard, Daniel Chard, Ahiram Hernandez, Rocio Hernandez, Jessica Burton, Stephen Burton, Christine Wynder, Katheryn Russell, Frank Vielbaum, Ann Fleming, Deborah Chard, Susan Hatell, Cheyenne Hayes, Dearen Hayes, Micah Frankus, Dale Lormor, Barbara Smith, and Jeff Bair for your help at Priest Point Park!