About Volunteering

Volunteering is a terrific way to help the health of your local forests and natural areas while engaging with your community in the outdoors! 

Learn more below about what to expect at volunteer stewardship events as a 'one-time' or periodic volunteer.

Visit the ongoing volunteer roles page to learn more about the Green Kirkland Steward, Summer Watering, and Ongoing Restoration volunteer positions. 

When are stewardship events and who can volunteer?

We invite you to join us at a volunteer stewardship event once or many times!

Public volunteer stewardship events occur on weekdays and weekends throughout the year and are listed on the event calendar. Events are typically two to three hours in length.

No prior experience is necessary to participate. Registration is requested for each event for each volunteer - visit the event calendar for registration details.

See the "Youth Volunteering" section below for guidelines for youth volunteers under age 18 including waivers. 

Most events are open to all ages following the youth guidelines but check the specific event pages for details as this can vary by event.

If you are interested in setting up an event for a group, please see "Volunteer as a Group" below. 

Where are stewardship events?

Stewardship events are hosted in natural areas in City of Kirkland parks including forests, meadows, wetlands, and other 'greenspaces'.

Event locations and meeting areas within the park are listed on each event calendar posting.  

Events are 100% outdoors and most volunteer activities are a short walk off-trail in forested areas with uneven terrain.

Please reach out via email or phone if you have questions about accessibility (see contact info sidebar).

We encourage volunteers to walk, bike, carpool, or bus to our events. Street parking or parking lots are available at most sites.

Events are generally held 'rain or shine' but may be canceled or relocated if weather or site conditions are unsafe such as high winds, flooding, snow, lightening, or unsafe air quality (smoke).

What will we do at a stewardship event?

Volunteer activities are season and site dependent to meet the stewardship goals at each site. Events are led by either a volunteer Green Kirkland Steward or Parks staff person.

The goal of each event is to provide a safe, fun, and effective hands-on experience for you to help improve the health of your public lands. 

Every stewardship event includes:

Registration: At the start of the event every volunteer will sign-in on the event roster/service agreement and provide a signed Youth Service Agreement if applicable (see 'Youth Volunteering' below for requirements).

Orientation: After registration there is a mandatory site and safety orientation. This short orientation includes training in safe tool use, an overview of specific stewardship activities, and education about forest and natural areas stewardship.

Activities may include:

  • Digging or cutting of invasive weeds by hand, typically blackberry or ivy plants (all year)
  • Spreading and hauling wood chip mulch (all year)
  • Planting native trees and shrubs (October through February) 

Common tools that we use include shovels, long-handle pruners, pitch forks, buckets, and wheelbarrows.

For more information about forest stewardship and the City of Kirkland's 20-Year Forest and Natural Area Plan visit the About Us page.

For more information about the role of a volunteer at our events review the Green Kirkland Restoration Volunteer Position Description(PDF, 153KB).

What to bring to an event?


  • Closed toed shoes  (e.g., tennis shoes, sneakers, or boots but no sandals)
  • Youth Service Agreement (if applicable)


  • Wear clothes that can get dirty and protect against thorns
  • Rain pants/jacket, warm layers, long pants, and long sleeves are recommended
  • Full water bottle & snacks
  • In summer: sun hat and sunscreen


  • Garden gloves (we can provide if needed)
  • Masks/Face coverings are optional and welcome

What is provided?

Tools, gloves, and training are provided at each site. 

Bathrooms (running water) or portable toilets (no running water) are usually available either onsite or a short distance from the site. Check the specific event page for facility details. 

Snacks are not typically provided. Please do not bring any power tools. 

Volunteering Specifics

Youth Volunteering

Most of our events are open to all ages following guidelines below. Event activities are best suited for age 12 and older though many activities are adaptable for all ages. 

Guidelines for Youth Volunteers (Minors):

Youth under age 18 to age 14 can attend without a parent/guardian and must either:

  • Bring a signed Youth Service Agreement (waiver) OR
  • Have a parent/guardian sign-in at the start of the event OR
  • Be accompanied by a responsible adult who remains onsite.

Youth under age 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult who sign-in, remain onsite, and will supervise the minor for the duration of the event.

The Youth and Individual Service Agreement can be filled out online or printed with a parent/guardian signature.

To fill out the Youth and Individual Service Agreement:

1. Register for an event on the Green Kirkland Calendar.

2. Complete the online Youth Service Agreement or print and fill out the PDF version Youth and Individual Service Agreement(PDF, 150KB) (Print).

3. Receive your completed agreement via email or print the PDF.

4. Bring either a hardcopy or complete version on your electronic device.

The completed Youth & Individual Service Agreement form should be presented to the event leader hosting the event - hard copy or proof of electronic submission is acceptable. Please note that event leaders cannot access your agreement on their electronic device at the site.

See also Instructions for Volunteers: Youth Service Agreements(PDF, 82KB). 

Youth Volunteer Groups

For groups with youth participants (scouts, clubs, schools etc.) all requirements above apply.

Youth under age 18 must provide a signed Youth Service Agreement if their parent/guardian is not present at the event. For example, students (under age 18) attending with their teacher should bring a Youth Service Agreement signed by their parent/guardian. 

Green Kirkland requests a 5:1 ratio of youth to adult chaperone for groups under age 18 to age 14.

Adult chaperones are responsible for ensuring youth event participants follow site safety and tool use directions given by the event leader. 

Please contact Green Kirkland if your group is younger than age 14 to clarify ratio requirements and ensure a good project fit.

Volunteer as a Group

Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity for your company, school, service or faith-based organization?

Green Kirkland Partnership volunteer events provide a fun and engaging way to take an active role in keeping your parks healthy while connecting as a community. Whether this is your team's first event, or you're seasoned outdoor professionals, we will work with you to find a fit for your team's goals and abilities.

If you have a group of more than 10 volunteers we can either match you with an existing public event or we may be able to schedule a private event with three to four week's notice.

Private event availability is dependent on matching your team with a site and host.

Private event capacity is typically 10 minimum to 25 maximum participants but contact us if your group is larger.

Events are typically two to three hours in length.

To help us setup a terrific event for your team, you will need to provide:

  • Group name or affiliation
  • Participant info: recruitment estimate of adults and youth* in your group.
  • Schedule preferences: day(s) of week and morning (10am - 12pm) or afternoon (1-3pm).
  • Team organizer: agree to provide a contact to communicate event information and coordinate details of your team's participation including recruitment.

Contact us via email (see contact info sidebar) with the information above to kickoff planning with us!  

*Youth groups / schools please also see 'Youth Volunteering' for more details.

Private Event Setup: After you provide the information above, we pitch your team’s availability to our volunteer leaders. It can take a week or so to hear back on a match. No match is guaranteed but we will do our best to find a fit.

Confirmation and Pre-Registration:

After finding a match we will confirm the following with you:

  • Pre-event registration process for your team.
  • Connect you with your day-of site host.
  • A weblink or pdf with event details (where to meet, what to bring etc.).

Group Organizer Role: Once confirmed, we ask that team organizers aim to meet their recruitment targets or communicate if recruitment goals change. Team organizers are responsible for ensuring their team pre-registers for the event and that they receive pre-event communications.

Pre-event registration ensures your team has the information needed for their volunteer experience. The City of Kirkland mobilizes resources (tools, materials, staff, etc.) based on pre-event registration to support a safe and effective event. For efficient use of resources, the program may cancel private events that do not reach the minimum number of participants.

Court Ordered Service

As per City of Kirkland guidelines, the Green Kirkland Partnership can only certify/accept court ordered service for Teen Traffic Court assigned by the Kirkland Municipal Court. Green Kirkland cannot accept or certify for any other type of court ordered volunteer service.

Teen Traffic Court volunteers should contact Green Kirkland staff prior to volunteer service.

We encourage volunteers with court ordered service to view the City of Kirkland Volunteer Opportunities page or check in with the following organizations: EarthCorpsGreen Tacoma PartnershipGreen Seattle PartnershipGreen Redmond Partnership, and Green Everett Partnership.


Safety Guidelines

Covid-19 Safety Guidelines

Green Kirkland stewardship events follow guidance under the City of Kirkland safety plan.

Summary of current requirements as of November 1, 2022:

  • Face coverings are optional at outdoor Green Kirkland stewardship events. We welcome and encourage volunteers to bring and wear a face covering at times when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    As an event volunteer, please be aware that you may be around other volunteers, leaders or park users who may or may not be wearing face coverings. Groups such as companies or schools may have more extensive requirements for their participants.

  • Pre-registration is requested from participants. Event leaders may elect to allow non-registered participants (e.g. drop-in) to sign the roster and participate at the event on a site by site basis.

  •  Please stay home if you do not feel well or have any Covid or flu-like symptoms. Link to Center for Disease Control Covid Symptoms Page.

  • Physical distancing of six feet or greater is recommended and typically achievable at events.

  • Tool sharing is permitted when needed. Gardening gloves should always be worn when handling all tools.

  • Cleaning supplies or staff assistance for cleaning is available upon request. 

  • Hand sanitizer or a hand washing facility is typically available onsite.

Volunteer Code of Conduct

Please contact the Green Kirkland Program Coordinator (see contact info sidebar) or the City of Kirkland Volunteer Services Coordinator (425-587-3013, Acampbell@kirklandwa.gov) with any concerns or questions about volunteer conduct and expectations. 

Green City Partnerships recommends the following Volunteer Code of Conduct:

1. As a volunteer, you represent your Green City Partnership. You must treat the public, park users, other volunteers, and Green City staff with respect.

2. Threatening or harassing behavior will result in removal from the volunteer event and could result in expulsion from the park.

3. Individuals must not be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances while participating in volunteer activities.

4. Safety is of utmost importance at all times. Take safety seriously and consider the use of safe work practices for yourself and others as a personal responsibility.

5. Recognize parks as public places. All users have rights to the parks. Volunteer events are open to the public unless City/County staff have approved a closure or exclusive event.

Weather and Environmental Safety

Green Kirkland follows the City of Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department guidance for weather and environmental safety. 

Events are generally held 'rain or shine' but may be canceled or relocated if weather or site conditions are unsafe such as high winds, flooding, snow, lightening, or unsafe air quality (smoke).

Participants will be notified via email (if possible) or signage will be placed onsite in the event of cancellation.