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, by email for more information, or submit a request online.

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 - EARTH DAY! - Saturday, April 22 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Check out our Environmental Education Events section here for more information about our annual volunteer event!

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesday, April 26 - 9:00am-12:30pm

Come enjoy the cherry blossoms and help weed the Yashiro Japanese Garden. No experience necessary. The focus will be on removing weeds from the planting beds, raking the gravel, and sprucing up the garden for spring. Meet at the garden entrance near the parking lot. Parking is located in the Lee Creighton Justice Center parking lot at 900 Plum Street SE.

LBA Park Woods (Wilderness Neighborhood access)-Saturday, April 29 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Join the Park Stewardship team in supporting the Friends of LBA Woods as they tackle invasive plants as LBA Park Woods!  If you have not been out to LBA Woods yet, now is your chance. We will be meeting at the trailhead inside the Wilderness Neighborhood (south access to LBA Woods Park).  The trailhead address is 4101 Frontier Dr. SW.  Street parking is available on both Frontier Dr. and Highline Dr.

Yashiro Japanese Garden - Wednesdays, May 3 & 31 - 9:00am-12:30pm

Join in a work party or two focusing on removing weeds from the planting beds, raking the gravel, and sprucing up the Yashiro Japanese Garden for summer. Meet at the garden entrance near the parking lot. Parking is located in the Lee Creighton Justice Center parking lot at 900 Plum Street SE.

Springwood Parcel (formerly known as Zabel's Rhododendron Garden)-Saturday, May 6 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Come help steward the former Zabel's Garden. The focus will be on removing invasive vegetation such as Himalayan blackberry and sprucing up the property. No parking available on Springwood Ave. Please park across the way on Devon Drive. Springwood parcel is located at 1500 Springwood 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.

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 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.


Recognition

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