Volunteer Program

5 Volunteers improving trails Bernal Hill June 2013 Natural Areas

Are you excited to volunteer in San Francisco’s more than 225 parks and recreation facilities? Volunteers like you contributed 187,000 hours of service this past fiscal year – representing an invaluable contribution to our city in efforts as diverse as planting trees in Golden Gate Park, teaching Zumba at a local Rec Center, or painting faces at special events. Find opportunities in every corner of the city that are as diverse as your interests, skills, and abilities. Our volunteers include individuals and school, community, business, and international groups. See the tabs below to learn about popular options that will fit your schedule and needs. Please choose your next steps depending on your interest to help us serve you better!


Garden Resource Day and Community Garden Workshops this Summer and Fall

Get your garden ready and join us for FREE community garden workshops this summer and fall, including our third Garden Resource Day of 2018 at Alemany Farm (700 Alemany Boulevard) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. Grab some compost and mulch for your garden and more! … Continue reading

Celebrate Earth Month by Volunteering in our Parks!

Join our Earth Month Madness this April by volunteering in our parks! We have numerous volunteer workdays across the city that are perfect for celebrating our planet! For more information or to RSVP for any of these events please email recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org or call (415) 831-6330 Where: Alamo Square (Hayes & … Continue reading

SF Rec and Parks’ Youth Leaders to Celebrate National Public Lands Day

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today that its youth leadership program known as Greenagers, will be leading park stewardship project and community engagement efforts to celebrate National Public Lands Day at Michelangelo Playground located at Greenwich and Jones Streets on Saturday, September 30th.  This … Continue reading

Open Gardens Day on September 23

Join us to celebrate Open Gardens Day across the city on September 23. Listed below are the community gardens that will be open that day with each featuring various educational, recreational and social activities! We will also be holding Garden Resource Days at the Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden and Alemany Farm … Continue reading

SF Rec and Park to Host Citywide Coastal Cleanup Day 2017

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today that the Department will take the lead to coordinate citywide efforts to celebrate Coastal Cleanup Day in partnership with hundreds of volunteers and fellow government agencies and community groups including California Coastal Commission, California Department of Parks and … Continue reading

DSC_0756Would you like to try out your green thumb or help clean-up your neighborhood park? Volunteers participate in a wide variety of projects including: weeding, planting, mulching, habitat restoration, trash-pick up, painting, and trail maintenance.

We can accommodate individuals or groups on a one-time or ongoing basis, any day of the week.


Golden Gate Park

ggpFrom the Conservatory of Flowers to the Bison Paddock, there is a wealth of exciting volunteer opportunities in this world class park.

Check out the monthly work party schedule for ongoing events, we welcome drop in volunteers! Groups of 5 or more, please contact recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org.

Volunteer Gardening Work Party Schedule

  • 1st Monday
    • 10am-12pm: De Young Museum
  • 1st Saturday
    • 9am-12pm: 7th Ave and JFK
    • 9am-12pm: North Lake
  • 2nd Saturday
    • 10am-12:30pm: Oak Woodlands Restoration Project
    • 9am-12pm: North of Panhandle Neighborhood Assoc.
  • 3rd Saturday
    • 9am-12pm: Bison Paddock
    • 9am-12pm: National AIDS Memorial Grove (March-October)
  • 4th Saturday
    • 9am-12pm: Alvord Lake
    • 9am-12pm: Beach Chalet

Habitat Restoration

Habitat restoration volunteers work primarily in Natural Areas and may participate in a wide variety of activities, including removing invasive weeds, propagating native plants in the nursery, controlling erosion, planting and monitoring. Events occur rain or shine. Wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and layers. Tools and refreshments provided.

Next Steps

Individuals can check out the monthly work party schedule listed below or our ongoing events calendar and drop in for a project.

Groups of 5 or more people please contact recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org to set up a meaningful project.

Monthly Work Parties

  • First Saturday
    • 9am - noon: Buena Vista Park
    • 10am - 12:30pm: Mount Davidson
  • Second Saturday
    • 10am - 12:30pm: Golden Gate Park: Oak Woodlands
    • 10am - Noon: Edgehill Mountain
    • 10am - Noon: Bayview Park (on odd numbered months only)
    • 10am - Noon: McLaren Park (on even numbered months only)
  • Third Saturday
    • 9am - 11:30am: Glen Canyon Park
    • 10am - Noon: Bernal Hill
    • 10am - Noon: Lake Merced
  • Last Saturday
    • 10am - Noon: Corona Heights
Bi-Monthly and Quarterly Work Parties:
  • Billy Goat Hill
  • Fairmount Park
  • Interior Greenbelt
  • Kite Hill
  • Pine Lake
  • Tank Hill
  • Twin Peaks

Group Park Request Form

Please complete and submit this form for large group park volunteer projects.

Next Steps

Individuals may look at our event calendar and attend any ongoing projects.

Groups of 5 or more must contact recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org at least three weeks in advance. Large groups please contact at least 5 weeks in advance, and groups of 100 or more please allow three months planning time.

Recreation Centers

Do you have a special talent you would like to share with youth, teens, adults, or Coaching kids to swimseniors at a local recreation center? Do you enjoy arts and crafts, theater, sports, dance, music, or tutoring?  Contact your local recreation center or playground staff for a range of opportunities and find an available program to match your interests.

Special Events

Volunteers assist staff with arts and crafts, game booths and sports activities at special events such as spring fairs, family fun days, holiday events and ribbon cutting ceremonies.Volunteer signup

Next Steps Fingerprinting

  1. After finding a program, Recreation site and Supervisor, you are ready for a background check.
  2. Fill out the application form below.
  3. Go to Appointment Plus link to schedule an appointment online.
  4. Please bring the completed application packet and a valid photo ID to your appointment at 811 Stanyan St across from North Beach Pizza. Cross street is Beulah St. 
    • Please note that starting August 13th, 2018 fingerprinting will take place at the McLaren Lodge located at 501 Stanyan Street.
  5. For any questions contact our main office at 415-831-6330 or recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org

Why fingerprinting? Fingerprinting satisfies a State Law that requires anyone who volunteers in a facility containing a sensitive population to have a background check.

Thanks for your understanding.

*Please note that showing up early at a time other than your scheduled appointment time will not expedite your appointment and being more than 5 minutes late will cancel your appointment.  If you know you will be more than five minutes late, it is your responsibility to call ahead and reschedule your appointment.

Summer Opportunities

Individuals are welcome to drop in to monthly youth friendly volunteer parties:

  • 1st Saturdays 9am-noon Crocker Amazon
  • 2nd Saturdays 10:00-noon Heron's Head Park

Groups please email recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org or call 415-831-6330 to speak to our youth services staff.

Youth Stewardship Program

Are you an educator, parent, student, or youth service provider? Bring our FREE field trip program for 2nd-12th grade to your school! YSP offers students aKids doing volunteer gardening chance to participate in place-based experiential learning at a local park. Starting with a visit to the classroom, YSP includes up to 5 field trips offering hands-on service and facilitated environmental education activities like bug collecting, water testing, and planting. Find out more and apply here.

Greenagers Program

What is the Greenager Program?

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Port of San Francisco Greenager Program, is an outdoor Youth Leadership Program. The program was created and designed to offer teens a chance to play an important role in the community by improving the city’s green spaces, raising awareness, creating place-based projects and or projects based on issues or themes participants value and are interested in.

The Greenager Program's mission is to empower youth from the Southeast and Northeast sector of San Francisco to become community and environmental youth leaders through civic engagement, park stewardship and outdoor recreation opportunities.

We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 program session. To apply online click HERE. You can also can download and print an application by clicking on this link, Greenager Program Application 2018.

Individuals & Groups

Get in touch with volunteer staff at recparkvolunteers@sfgov.org for more information.

I want to volunteer. How do I get started?  

  • Check out the other tabs. Depending on your interests, follow the next steps listed.

How do I sign up a group to volunteer? 

  • The general manager ''managing" volunteersOrganize your event with our friendly volunteer staff. Email recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org or call 415-831-6330 at least three weeks in advance for groups of 5 or more, 5 weeks for large groups, and 3 months for groups of 100 or more.

Do I need experience to volunteer?

  • No, the person leading your work day or group will provide you with everything you need to know. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable.

Planting a treeWhat should I bring to my volunteer day?

  • Please review our volunteer guidelines HERE.

What if it is raining, does the program get canceled?

  • Our programs work rain or shine. If a program is canceled, it should be reflected on our events calendar. If you would like to cancel a group due to weather, please contact the staff member you have scheduled the event with.

How do I get proof that I’ve volunteered?

  • Your project leader can sign a volunteer hours form for your school or court-ordered service at the project site. Be sure to bring any paperwork you need signed.3 young volunteers
  • Thank you!