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 204,000 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!


Youth Stewardship Program Kick Off Series!

Our Youth Stewardship Program (YSP) engages youth 2nd-12th grade in environmental education and service learning field trips in parks and open spaces city wide. We are hosting three YSP Kick-Off events for teachers to learn more about our free programming, meet our environmental educators, and register for classes for the … Continue reading

We Have Extended the Greenager Application Deadline to April 20th, 2019

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Port of San Francisco Greenager Program is an outdoor youth leadership program created and designed to offer early high school teens a chance to play an important role in the community by improving the city’s green spaces through stewardship, engagement, raising awareness, … Continue reading

Park Volunteering


Would you like to try out your green thumb or help clean-up your neighborhood park?  From the Conservatory of Flowers to the Bison Paddock, there is a wealth of exciting volunteer opportunities in our world class parks. Volunteers participate in a wide variety of park maintenance projects including: weeding, planting, mulching, habitat restoration, trash-pick up, painting, and trail work.

We welcome drop in volunteers!  We can accommodate individuals or groups on a one-time or ongoing basis any day of the week.  Groups of 5 or more, please fill out the "Group Park Request Form" available below, or email recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org or call 415-831-6884.  And allow for 5 weeks to process your request.  For groups of 100 or more please allow for three months.

Check out the monthly work party schedule of ongoing events, by clicking on this link.

Habitat Restoration

Habitat restoration work happens primarily in the undeveloped outdoor spaces managed by the SFRPD Natural Resources Division. Volunteers can participate in a wide variety of restoration activities, such as planting and propagating native plants, controlling erosion, and monitoring wildlife habitat. 

Click on this link to see a calendar of monthly habitat restoration volunteer opportunities.  Groups of 5 or more, please email recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org or call 415-831-6884. 

Group Park Request Form

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

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. All Aquatic Volunteers must fill out an Aquatic Pre-Approval Form and receive approval from Aquatic Staff prior  to getting a Fingerprinting Appointment.
  3. Fill out the application form below.
  4. Go to Appointment Plus link to schedule an appointment online.
  5. Please bring the completed application packet and a valid photo ID to your appointment.
    1. Tuesday and Thursday appointments are at 501 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. Cross street is John F Kennedy Dr. 
    2. Saturday appointments are at the Millwright Cottage next to the Murphy Windmill West End of Golden Gate Park
  6. Frequently asked questions on how to become a volunteer.
  7. For any questions contact our main office at 415-831-6884 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.

Youth Volunteer Services

The Volunteer Division’s Youth Services team coordinates and runs a variety of programs that offer youth and educators opportunities to connect with San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s parks and open spaces city wide.

Drop-In Volunteer Opportunities

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

**Youth waivers are required for all participants under the age of 18. Youth under 14 years old must be accompanied by a chaperone.**

Groups of five or more, please email recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org or call 415-831-6884 to speak to our Volunteer Division staff.

Organized Youth Groups

Youth Stewardship Program

The Youth Stewardship Program (YSP) provides free environmental education and service-learning field trips for youth groups 2nd- 12th grade in parks citywide. The mission of the program is to foster in youth an understanding of their important role in helping to build healthy social and natural communities.

Teachers and group leaders are welcome to apply for YSP field trips October-June. Applications are open beginning in September for the upcoming school year and will close when full. For more information and to apply, click here.

Community Service

To organize a service-only project for your group or class year-round, please complete the Volunteer Division Group request form here.

Youth Volunteer Internships

Greenager Program

The Greenager Program, a San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Port of San Francisco youth stewardship and leadership 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 application is now closed. Please check back in next season in February for the program application.

If you have questions about the program, e-mail sfrpdgreenagers@sfgov.org or call 415-831-6319.

Individual Volunteers

Not sure how or where you'd like to volunteer?

No problem! Get in touch with staff at recparkvolunteers@sfgov.org.

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 415-831-6884 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