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!


YSP is Hiring Environmental and Recreation Education Interns for the 2016-2017 School Year!

Do you like working outdoors and working with youth? Are you excited to educate the next generation about caring for the world around them? Want to get your environmental education career off the ground? Join a team of SCA/Americorps interns and run the Youth Stewardship Program this year from October 2016 – … Continue reading

Docent Volunteer Opportunity at the SF Botanical Garden

Like plants? Love people? Become a docent at San Francisco Botanical Garden! Docents delight, inspire and teach visitors by leading tours and interactive, hands-on activities in the Garden. Participate in one of our biannual trainings and explore the wondrous collections of San Francisco Botanical Garden, while gaining skills to share … Continue reading

Volunteer Opportunity: Green Team Coordinator

The Green Team is a drop-in gardening group that supports the maintenance of the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Volunteers will work alongside SF Recreation & Parks gardeners, helping to mulch, weed, plant and maintain our rare and unique collections. The Green Team Coordinator will help the gardeners supervise volunteer projects, and assist in maintaining … Continue reading

San Francisco Botanical Garden Internship

Seeking Interns for the SF Botanical Garden The San Francisco Botanical Garden is seeking interns to perform 350 hours of service under the supervision of SFRPD gardeners in a variety of capacities. Intern responsibilities shall include watering, mulching, pruning, weed management, soil replenishment, green waste removal and planting. Interns will attend supplemental … 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 our temporary location McLaren Lodge, Hammond Hall, 501 Stanyan St
  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

Volunteer at Pine Lake or Silver Tree summer camps as part of our LIT Program.

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

  • 1st Saturdays 9am-noon Crocker Amazon
  • 2nd Saturdays 9am-noon Heron's Head Park
  • 3rd Saturdays 9am-noon Bison Paddock in Golden Gate Park
  • 4th Saturdays 9am-noon Visiticion Valley Greenway Project

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


The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Greenagers program offers teens, from the Southeast Side of San Francisco, a chance to play an important role in the community by improving our city’s green spaces and raising awareness. Greenagers work in various parks and open spaces throughout San Francisco, meet with various Rec and Park staff, community members and partners; create place-based projects and or projects based on issues they are interested in. Participants will meet and work with teens their own age, collaborate with other youth organizations and gain crucial skills in facilitating workshops, networking, public speaking, teamwork, environmental education, and community engagement.

If you or someone you know is interested, find out more details and complete your application

.  A hard copy of the application can be downloaded here:

Greenagers Application 2017 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!