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!


MLK Day of Service Opportunities with Rec and Park!

Looking to give back to the community in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday coming up? Join us and Habitat for Humanity at Bayview Playground/MLK Pool on Saturday, January 19 from 9 a.m. to noon. Honor Dr. King’s work with a day of community service alongside other community partners. … Continue reading

Community Garden Workshops this Fall

Get your garden ready and join us for FREE community garden workshops this fall, including our next Garden Resource Day on Saturday, October 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden! For additional Community Garden events this fall, click here: Garden Events For Fall  To RSVP … Continue reading

Youth Stewardship Program Kick-off Series in October

Join us for a series of kick-off events in October for our Youth Stewardship Program (YSP), which engages youth from 2nd to 12th grade in environmental education and service-learning field trips in parks and open spaces citywide. At these events, teachers can learn more about our free programming, meet our … Continue reading

SF Rec and Park Dives in for Coastal Cleanup Day 2018

SAN FRANCISCO –  The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will spearhead the City’s effort to celebrate Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday, collecting trash and inspiring stewardship along San Francisco’s eastern shoreline in partnership with hundreds of volunteers, fellow government agencies, and community groups.   Partners in the massive cleanup include the California … Continue reading

SF Rec and Park Dives in for Coastal Cleanup Day 2018

SAN FRANCISCO –  The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will spearhead the City’s effort to celebrate Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday, collecting trash and inspiring stewardship along San Francisco’s eastern shoreline in partnership with hundreds of volunteers, fellow government agencies, and community groups. Partners in the massive cleanup include the … Continue reading

The Youth Stewardship Program is Hiring!

We’re gearing up to start the new 2018-2019 year and are hiring Environmental Educator Interns! If you’re interested in becoming an Environmental Educator intern and gaining work experience in a government agency, visit our page to learn more about our program, or apply now by clicking here. We’re seeking three motivated … 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 501 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. Cross street is John F Kennedy Dr.
  5. Frequently asked questions on how to become a volunteer.
  6. 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.

Drop-in Volunteer 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 of five or more, please email recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org or call 415-831-6330 to speak to our youth services staff.

Organized YOUth groups

To organize a volunteer experience for your youth group or class, sign up for our Youth Stewardship Program.  Find out more and apply here.

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 is now hiring. To apply click here.

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


No sure how or where you'd like to volunteer? No problem! Get in touch with staff at recparkvolunteers@sfgov.org and ask for some guidance.

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!