Find Your Path
Open Community Projects
Join in one of our existing projects throughout the city
We regularly host community volunteer projects that anyone is welcome to join! Depending on the season, you might have the opportunity to beautify flowerbeds, plant trees, prune street trees, or clean up a park.
take a leadership role in the care of your neighborhood park
The Adopt-a-Park program connects passionate neighbors with their local park, and provides tools and support to help bring their vision to life. Adopt-a-Park stewards commit to leading four park beautification projects per year.
Custom Group Projects
Create an experience tailored to your group's size, availability, and interests
Friends’ volunteer program provides an excellent opportunity for corporate groups and organizations to give back, while growing their own teams stronger. We can identify a park or tree project that your group will love.
lend a hand to help friends' staff bring community events to life
Community events like Movies in the Park and Pumpkin Parties, and fundraisers like Green Gala need many hands to make them happen! Sign up as a volunteer to be notified when we need help with check-in, setup, and more.
Put your knowledge about trees to work as a certified volunteer
Certified Neighborhood Foresters have gained specific skills through our four classes and multiple hands-on projects. These volunteers have the opportunity to lead volunteer groups, scout projects, and prune trees independently.
What to Know
Volunteers must complete a waiver before participating in a volunteer project. If you sign up for a project online, you can fill out the form here! If not, we will blank printed forms available at the event.
*All volunteers under the age of 18 must have their waiver signed by a parent and/or guardian. Any volunteer under the age of 18 without a signed waiver will not be able to participate.
Most of Friends’ volunteer opportunities are great for teens and even children to participate in! We do not require a parent or guardian on-site for volunteers 14 years and older; volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
It is mandatory that all volunteers have a complete volunteer waiver on file before participating in a project. If you register your child online, you can fill out the form here! If not, we will blank printed forms available at the event.
Be prepared to get dirty! Wear clothes you are comfortable possibly getting oil-based paints, woodchips, and dirt on. All volunteers at tree planting and pruning projects must wear closed-toe shoes.
We also suggest layers. You can work up quite a sweat planting trees!
Volunteers should bring a snack and water. Friends does its best to provide a water source for volunteers but this is not always possible. Bring bug spray and sunscreen if you are prone to mosquito bites or sunburn.
Quite often, we plant trees and clean up parks in (light) rain or shine! Our team monitors weather reports if inclement weather is expected, and will send out an email communication before the project time if we decide to cancel. All projects will be postponed in the event of thunder.
All are welcome to volunteer! Friends of Grand Rapids Parks provide equal opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sexual preference, age, or disability. Volunteers are expected to follow all instructions given by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks staff or team leader at volunteer project.
Use of tobacco and other substances is not allowed at any Friends of Grand Rapids Parks event, with the exception of alcohol at ticketed and regulated fundraising events.
ArborFest Spring Community-Wide Planting
Do you have an idea you would like to share with us?
Contact us if there is a volunteer opportunity that you want to see happen in our community’s parks!
For additional volunteer opportunities visit MyGRCityPoints and Heart of West Michigan United Way.