What to Expect as a Volunteer

COVID Safety Guidelines

Green Kirkland stewardship events follow a City of Kirkland approved COVID safety plan. Summary of current requirements as of September 3, 2021:

  • Face coverings: Please bring and wear a face covering at times when physical distancing cannot be maintained at Green Kirkland outdoor stewardship events. Face coverings are required in indoor facilities such as bathrooms.

    As an event volunteer, please be aware that you may be around other volunteers, leaders or park users who are not 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.

  • Health self-screening has been simplified: 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. Please wear a face covering when distancing is not possible.

  • 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 available onsite.

Relevant external Covid-19 Links

Public Health- Seattle & King County - COVID-19 Information Page

https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19.aspx

King County Health Order Regarding Face Coverings

https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/current-guidance/masks.aspx (external link to pdf)

Washington State Labor and Industry Requirements and Guidance for preventing COVID-19 (updated August 30, 2021)

https://www.lni.wa.gov/forms-publications/F414-164-000.pdf (external link to pdf)

Statewide Health Order Regarding Face Coverings

https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/Secretary_of_Health_Order_20-03_Statewide_Face_Coverings.pdf (external link to pdf)

What will we be doing at an event?

Volunteers activities at events are season and site dependent to meet the stewardship goals at each site.

Each event begins with a mandatory site and safety orientation followed by training in safe tool use and overview of specific stewardship activities for the day.

Every volunteer will either sign-in at the event on the event roster and waiver and/or provide a signed Youth and Individual Service Agreement(see Youth volunteering below for requirements).

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.

Activities are 100% outdoors, in all weather conditions on uneven terrain and may include:

  • Hand removal (digging, cutting) of invasive weeds often blackberry or ivy (all year)
  • Spreading and hauling wood chip mulch (all year)
  • Planting native trees and shrubs (October through February)

Events are typically rain or shine and only canceled if weather or site conditions are unsafe such as snow, high wind, lightening or dangerous air quality (smoke). 

For more information about forest stewardship and Green Kirkland's plan visit the About Us page.

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

What to bring to an event?

  • Closed toed shoes required (ex: tennis shoes, sneakers or boots but no sandals)
  • Face covering, please bring your own
  • Wear clothes that can get dirty
  • Rain pants/jacket, warm layers, long pants/long sleeves are recommended
  • Full water bottle & snacks
  • Leather or tough garden gloves (we can provide if needed)
  • Youth Service Agreement (as needed)
  • In summer: sun hat and sunscreen

Tools are provided at each site. Gloves can be provided.

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

Types of Volunteering

Volunteer as an Individual or Family

Volunteer with the Green Kirkland partnership one time or many times at a volunteer stewardship event. There are public events in parks throughout Kirkland during the week and most weekends. No experience is necessary to volunteer at an event. Most events are open to all ages but check the specific event pages for details as this can vary by event.

Families are welcome and please register each member of the family.

Please let us know if your family has volunteers under age 12 so that we can plan appropriately.

View our event calendar to register for any of our upcoming events. 

Volunteers under age 18 please see 'Youth Volunteering' for more details.

Note: In 2021 Green Kirkland requests pre-registration for every participant - event leaders may at their discretion allow non-registered participants.

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 project that will be a perfect fit for your team's goals and abilities.

We may be able to schedule closed events for groups with more than 15 volunteers with three to four week's notice or match you with an open public event.

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

  • Participant info: estimate of number of adults and youth* in your group.
  • Schedule preferences: day(s) of week and morning or afternoon.
  • Team organizer: agree to provide a contact to communicate event information and coordinate details of your team's participation.

Contact us via email with the information above to kickoff planning with us! 

 Note: In 2021 space for groups will be limited by our COVID-19 safety plan. We encourage group members to sign-up individually on our event page or contact us for small group options.

Youth Volunteering

Most of our events are open to all ages. Event activities are best suited for age 12 and older though most event activities are adaptable for all ages. 

Policy for volunteers under age 18:

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

Youth age 14 to under age 18 to must either:

  • Be accompanied by a responsible adult OR
  • Submit a Youth and Individual Service Agreement (aka waiver) OR 
  • Have a parent/guardian sign you in at the start of the event. 

To submit a Youth and Individual Service Agreement:

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

2. Complete the Youth and Individual Service Agreement online via the fillable form with a parent/guardian signature.

3. Receive your completed agreement via email.

4. Bring your completed agreement to the event.

Bring either:

  • Paper hardcopy OR
  • Electronic copy on your phone or device*

*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).

A printable blank PDF version of the Youth and Individual Service Agreement(PDF, 150KB) is also available, please bring this as a hardcopy.

For additional youth groups requirements please see the "Group Volunteer" tab.

Youth Volunteer Groups

For groups with youth participants (scouts, clubs, schools etc.) all requirements above apply. All youth under 14 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian (over age 18) who stays for the event. Youth ages 14 to under age 18 must provide a signed Youth Service Agreement if their parent/guardian is not present at the event.

Green Kirkland requests a 5:1 ratio of youth to adult chaperone for groups ages 14 to under age 18. Adult chaperones are responsible for ensuring youth event participants follow site safety and tool use directions given by the event leader. 

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 (greenkirkland@Kirklandwa.gov) for more information.  Orientation is hosted typically in Spring or arranged to meet the schedule of a new cohort.

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 interested volunteers can attend a public event or request to be paired with an existing Steward team. 

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 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' 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. 

Ready to apply?

Fill out the online Green Kirkland new Steward application after attending a Steward Orientation or information session with staff.

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.

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