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 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. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle. 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.

*****CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS********Springwood Parcel (formerly known as Zabel's Rhododendron Garden) - Saturday, February 9 - 10:00am-1:00pm

This wonderful parcel has barely any English ivy in it. Help us keep it that way! (There may be some Yellow archangel to remove as well...) The parcel is located at 1500 Springwood Ave NE, but PARKING IS ONLY ALLOWED ON DEVON DR. NE. After parking, follow the signs to the entrance to the parcel. Meet just inside the gate.

Decatur Woods Park - Wednesday, February 13 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Have you ever felt the overwhelming satisfaction of digging up a blackberry root larger than your head? Well, now is your chance! Join us today as we remove invasive Himalayan blackberry inside the park. Meet at the south entrance to the park at 1801 11th Ave SW. Street parking is available.

*****CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS********Priest Point Park (Northeast Neighborhood Connection Trail) - Saturday, February 16 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Did you know the Washington Trails Association has created a brand new trail in the southern part of the park? With funding from an REI grant, we are able to provide better access for those in the Northeast Neighborhood. This work party will focus on removing invasives close to the trail and climbing up the trees. Please park on the SOUTHBOUND side of East Bay Drive NE, across from Howard Ave NE. Directional signs will be posted. Meet at the top of Howard Ave NE.

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

Need to get your daily steps in? Join us at this beautiful downtown park for raking and weeding. 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.

*****CANCELLED DUE TO RECENT WEATHER*****Grass Lake Nature Park (14th Ave entrance) - Saturday, February 23 - 10:00am-1:00pm

Last planting party! We are ending the planting season by planting native vegetation and live stakes in the northwest part of the park. We will meet at the pedestrian entrance, 3133 14th Ave NW. Park along the shoulder near the entrance.

LBA Park - LBA Woods - Wednesday, February 27 - 9:30am-12:00pm

Join Stewardship staff and park stewards as we work on restoring the native habitat by removing Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom, and other invasive plants. LBA Park is located at 3333 Morse-Merryman Rd. SE. Follow the signs to the LBA Woods trail head, south of the parking lot. Meet at the trail head. Plenty of parking available.

 

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.