Green Kirkland Ongoing Volunteer Roles
Learn more below about ongoing volunteer roles in the Green Kirkland Partnership.
Jump to the details:
Each of these roles requires an Ongoing Volunteer Service Agreement with the City of Kirkland. The Green Kirkland Steward role also has a supplemental application and requirements.
Green Kirkland Stewards
Green Kirkland Stewards are dedicated, ongoing volunteers who share their love of green spaces by leading volunteers in restoration projects in their local parks.
Stewards bring a diversity of interests, skill, and time to Kirkland's natural areas - we encourage all that are interested to attend orientation or reach out to our staff via email (see contact info sidebar) for more information. We recommend signing up for the monthly Green Kirkland e-newsletter to stay up to date on the next orientation sessions.
The Steward role is a long-term, ongoing volunteer position with an ideal commitment of two years and ~12 hours per year to create successful projects. This ongoing volunteer role receives training, materials and support to either lead their own volunteer events and/or to conduct ongoing restoration in City of Kirkland natural area parkland.
This position is supervised by City of Kirkland Parks Department staff.
Read on for more details, checkout the Steward volunteer position description(PDF, 153KB), and the handout on the "Steps to become a Green Kirkland Steward"(PDF, 161KB).
New Steward Orientation Event Page
New Steward Application Form
Ongoing Volunteer Service Agreement
New Steward Orientation
Orientation is hosted typically in Spring or Fall or arranged to meet the schedule of a new cohort. We recommend signing up for the monthly Green Kirkland e-newsletter to stay up to date on the next orientation sessions.
Visit the Orientation event page to sign-up for all three parts of the training.
Session 1: Program Overview, Restoration, and Urban Forestry Practices (Online) – 2 hours
Session 2: Field Training in Urban Forestry Practices (In-person) – 2 hours
Session 3: Volunteer and Site Management (Online) – 2 hours
This free training is open to the public and no experience required. Following orientation, you can apply to become a Green Kirkland Steward.
We encourage all that are interested to attend orientation even just to learn more about caring for natural area restoration.
Youth Volunteers: Youth under age 18 must have an adult over 18 attend all trainings. See ‘Youth Stewardship’ for more details.
Why volunteer as a Steward?
Volunteers become Green Kirkland Stewards for a variety of reasons and bring a diversity of time and talent to the role. Most enjoy the outdoors and are looking to give back to their community by leading hands-on service.
Some Stewards are long-term volunteers with restoration experience looking for more responsibility and training, but most are new to stewardship and hoping to foster a positive change in their local park.
Our many long-term Stewards attribute the sense of community and being able to 'give back' as reasons they love participating in the program.
New Steward Onboarding
New Steward onboarding includes the following steps:
- New Steward Orientation (~6-8 training hours)
- New Steward Application with Background Check and 2 Personal References
- City of Kirkland Ongoing Volunteer Service Agreement
- Site Orientation and Placement
We suggest all interested volunteers attend a public stewardship event and new steward orientation as first steps.
Roles and Responsibilities of Stewards
Key Duties include:
- Serve as key contact person for Green Kirkland Staff
- Coordinate volunteer restoration events and activities in designated natural area/park
- Supervise and support on-site Restoration volunteers
- Submit timely event and materials requests, sign-in rosters, and work logs
- Coordinate with GKP staff to develop yearly restoration and planting plans
- Attend New Steward Orientation or complete new steward requirements with GKP staff person
- Attend training events
Review the Steward volunteer position description for a list of duties, qualifications, and other responsibilities.
Stewards ideally commit to two years with at least two 'events' or 12 hours per year minimum.
Stewards vary greatly in the time they can commit though projects are most successful if Stewards are able to commit time at least in the spring and fall seasons.
Stewards that report less than 12 hours over a two-year period may be listed as ‘inactive’.
All Stewards receive training during orientation in:
- Green Kirkland Program overview and urban forestry
- Stewardship best practices for invasive plant control, soil health, and native plant installation
- Field practice and safe tool use demonstrations
- Site orientation to review safety, boundaries, goal setting, and annual plans
- Volunteer event management and community engagement practices
- City of Kirkland volunteer policies, procedures, and benefits
Annual Steward Workshops (offered every year and highly recommended for all new Stewards):
- Native and Invasive Plant Identification
- Native Plant Installation
- Developing Planting Plans and Site Assessment
Topical Steward Workshops
Green Kirkland staff host one to three workshops for Stewards with a variety of expert speakers. Topics vary by year but have included: plant propagation, site monitoring, tree health assessment, wildlife and habitat, youth engagement, noxious weeds and more.
Stewards are also eligible for scholarships to attend professional urban forestry, horticulture, or restoration symposia and conferences. Eligibility is determined by the Parks Department Supervisors.
Green Kirkland offers a variety of benefits for active Stewards participating in the program. Some benefits scale with volunteer service hours and can vary by year. Benefits can include:
- Steward uniform and field/safety gear
- Outdoor field gear available for loan
- Annual volunteer appreciation items for Stewards with 12+ cumulative hours.
- InVESTment Award: Stewards with 80+ cumulative service hours are eligible for a durable field vest for use as a steward.
- Access to tools, materials, plant stock, and restoration experts
- Annual Appreciation Picnic for Stewards and families
- City of Kirkland volunteer appreciation events and awards
- Annual training in stewardship, environmental, and community engagement topics
- Scholarships to conferences and trainings
- Connection to a fun community of Stewards and a tangible sense of accomplishment in your parks
Do I have to lead events?
Stewardship events are encouraged as part of our mission to engage our community. However, you don't have to lead events. Stewards can also serve as a Support Steward at a site with another Lead Steward or you can adopt a section of a site by yourself or with a small team of ongoing volunteers.
Lead Stewards supervise other volunteers, participate in yearly restoration goal setting, and have access to tools, restoration supplies, and plant materials. Support Stewards assist at events or have their own sites with a limited scale or focus of restoration activities and are either supervised by a staff person or a Lead Steward. Ongoing Restoration Volunteers are supervised and trained by Stewards or staff and assist in an ongoing capacity but do not lead volunteer events.
Many Lead Stewards begin in the program by mentoring alongside or serving with another Steward at their established project site. This helps build a strong community of Stewards, facilitates learning new field skills, and allows new volunteers to feel prepared to lead when they are ready.
Steward Site Selection
Green Kirkland Staff will work with you to find a suitable stewardship site based on your interests, time, and needs within designated natural areas within our parks.
Visit our Map page to view restoration and mapped natural areas within our parks.
For more information about which areas in the City of Kirkland Parks the Green Kirkland Partnership is active visit the About Us page.
Youth under 18 can become Stewards if they have an adult (preferably a parent/guardian) who completes all Steward training/onboarding and also agree to provide onsite supervision alongside the youth Steward.
The adult Steward should be present at all events, meetings, and trainings with the youth Steward.
The same time commitment (2 years) is expected of all Stewards.
Summer Watering Volunteer
The Green Kirkland Partnership needs your help this summer with watering to help nurture baby native plantings in restoration sites in Kirkland Parks!
Watering volunteers commit to serving ~2 hours per week, during most weeks in June through September on their own time and schedule. Volunteers should be comfortable carrying water cans or hoses off-trail over uneven terrain in forest sites.
A brief orientation and ongoing service agreement are required for this fun summer volunteer role. This ongoing role is supervised by a Green Kirkland Steward. To begin review the content below and fill out the Interest Form (opens in May).
Volunteer Watering Interest Form
Ongoing Volunteer Service Agreement
Each summer watering volunteer may be placed at one or two Steward sites across Kirkland and help hand water anywhere from a few plants to hundreds of plants (with other volunteers).
Sites are typically forested or other natural areas in Kirkland parks near trails or roads but are not flower planters or landscape beds.
Hand watering includes carrying a 5-gallon bucket or filled water can from cisterns to the plants. Plants typically receive 1 – 2 gallons of water.
Full buckets or cans may weigh between 7 to 20 pounds and the distance is typically 50 to 150 feet over uneven terrain. A few sites may have hoses to move to plantings.
Green Kirkland provides tools, water access, gloves, and a t-shirt for volunteers.
Time Commitment and Responsibilities
The watering volunteer commitment is ~2 hours per week, most weeks during the watering season which runs approximately late June through September.
After orientation, watering volunteers can serve during daylight hours on their own schedule at a one or two restoration sites in parks across Kirkland.
Watering volunteers report hours, activities, and any issues each month to their Lead Steward.
This role is supervised by a Green Kirkland Steward. For more information on roles and responsibilities please review the Restoration Volunteer position description(PDF, 153KB).
Ongoing Restoration Volunteer
Ongoing Restoration Volunteers are supervised and trained by Stewards or Staff and assist in an ongoing capacity but do not supervise events or other volunteers.
Ongoing Restoration Volunteers typically serve two times or more per month in small teams supervised by a Green Kirkland Steward or staff person.
Ongoing volunteers usually pair with Stewards at an established site. If Staff time permits, they can be assigned their own sites with a limited scale or focus of restoration activities such as weeding or watering.
Ongoing Volunteer Service Agreement
Time Commitment and Responsibilities
Ongoing volunteers commit to ~12 hours per year for at least 3 months or longer. Ongoing volunteers typically serve two to more times per month with a small team or solo.
Ongoing volunteers report hours, activities, and any issues each month to their Lead Steward.
Green Kirkland Stewards or Staff provide training and supervision for this role.
Ongoing volunteers receive gloves, t-shirt, and safety gear.
For more information on roles and responsibilities please review the Restoration Volunteer position description(PDF, 153KB).
Ongoing Volunteer Onboarding
- Site match: Contact Green Kirkland to connect with a Steward with open ongoing opportunities or if you are interested in a specific site. Opportunities are also posted in the Green Kirkland e-newsletter. Stewards or staff must agree to supervise the applicant.
- Complete the Ongoing Volunteer Service Agreement
- Orientation: Meet with your Lead Steward for a basic orientation which includes:
- Program Overview
- Site orientation, tool use, and safety
- Review of activities, site boundaries, and scheduling