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 (posted ~2 times per year on our event calendar) or reach out to our staff via email (greenkirkland@Kirklandwa.gov) for more information.
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. Read on for more details and checkout the Steward volunteer position description(PDF, 153KB) and the handout on the "Steps to become a Green Kirkland Steward"(PDF, 161KB).
For more information about which areas in the City of Kirkland Parks the Green Kirkland Partnership is active visit the About Us page.
For short term or one time opportunities please interested volunteers can attend a public event or request to be paired with an existing Steward team.
Why become 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 are long term volunteers with restoration experience looking for more responsibility and training but many 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 the being able to 'give back' in the outdoors as reasons they love participating in the program.
Types, Role and Responsibilities of Stewards
The Green Kirkland Partnership has two Steward positions: Support Stewards and Lead Stewards. Both are ongoing volunteer positions with the City of Kirkland and supervised by City of Kirkland Parks staff. The time commitment is ideally two years with at least two 'events' or 12 hours per year minimum. Stewards vary greatly in the time they can commit though the most successful are able to commit time in the Spring and Fall seasons.
Lead Stewards supervise other volunteers, participate in yearly restoration goal setting and have access to tools, restoration supplies and plant material. 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.
Many Lead Stewards begin in the program by mentoring 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.
Training and Benefits for Stewards
All Stewards receive training in:
- Green Kirkland Program overview and urban forestry
- Restoration best practices such as invasive plant removal and native plant installation
- Orientation for site safety, tool use and City of Kirkland volunteer policies and benefits
- Goal setting and site assessment
Lead Stewards receive additional training in volunteer management, policy and safety practices.
One of the benefits of becoming a Steward is the ongoing training and scholarship opportunities. Topics vary by year but have included: native plant identification, plant propagation, tree health assessment and scholarships to attend professional urban forestry, horticulture or restoration symposia and conferences.
Other benefits include steward-specific field gear and volunteer appreciation activities like our annual picnic and 'gelato social'. This is in addition to the fun community and sense of tangible accomplishment in your parks!
Can youth become a Steward?
Yes, youth under 18 can become Stewards if they have an adult who agrees to commit to the same training level and will provide onsite supervision.
Do I have to lead events?
You don't have to lead events, you can serve as a support steward at a site with another lead steward or you can steward a section of a site by yourself with staff supervision (if staff time permits).
Steps to become a Green Kirkland Steward
If you are interested in learning more about the Steward program, please read the Steward Volunteer Position Description(PDF, 153KB) and contact us via email for more details.