​Whatcom Falls Park<br> image

​Whatcom Falls Park

Park Steward Program

​​ The Bellingham Parks Volunteer Program works with volunteers who want to adopt park lands, including trails, open spaces, and greenways. We are looking for motivated individuals or organizations who want to dedicate time and effort to caring for trails, restoration areas, dog waste stations, gardens, and ornamental plant beds.

Typical Adopter Duties  

  • Litter pickup
  • Trail repair
  • Cleaning trail of rocks and branches
  • Removing invasive plant species
  • Spreading mulch
  • Stocking dog waste stations with bags
  • Tending to garden beds
  • Planting of native plants
  • Reporting problem spots, especially after storms
  • Reporting encroachments and dumping activity

Volunteers choose what they will spend their time doing. What kind of parkland our volunteers work on determines what duties will need to be performed. Many volunteers come to the program with a specific piece of land in mind; some choose to work on parkland near their home. Neighborhood organizations, garden clubs, service clubs, and businesses tend to work on centrally located parks and trails. 

If you are looking to get involved but do not already have a place in mind, please call the Parks Volunteer Program at (360) 778-7105 to discuss ideas.

Training

When a new individual or organization decides to get involved with the Parks Volunteer Program, the Parks Volunteer Coordinator will train them to be able to safely and effectively accomplish duties. Oftentimes that involves the organization or group coming to a drop-in work party or organizing a work party at the trail or park. The Volunteer Program will help groups get started with their project.

Tools and Materials

Groups and individuals typically provide their own tools. We provide trash bags and pickup of garbage or weeds if volunteers aren't able to transfer weeds themselves to Park Operations. If the site involves planting, we can provide appropriate trees and shrubs. Mulch and gravel can also be delivered to sites.

Thinking about becoming a Park Steward?

If you want to get involved and find out what being a steward is really like, we recommend coming to a drop-in Saturday Work Party. If you have a place in mind where you'd like to work, please follow the steps below to sign up. If you still have questions, please call us at (360) 778-7105 or email apbrown@cob.org.

How to become a Park Steward for Bellingham Parks

1. Please fill out a Park Steward Application and return it to the Parks Volunteer Program

2. When your application has been reviewed Park staff will reach out to you to schedule an on-site meeting to:

  • Discuss your goals, interests, skills and how they can meet the needs of your adopted area
  • Answer questions and provide any necessary training (e.g. plant identification)
  • Sign the agreement and start volunteering!

3. After our meeting, we will send you a digital copy of the final agreement, policies and Volunteer Work Log.

4. Required follow-up: Every 6 months (typically January and July) we will ask you to submit your volunteer work hours to us. In January, we will also reach out to discuss and renew your agreement. 

 If you have any questions or concerns about your work sites, please reach out to us any time.  We are here to help!

Map of Current Park Stewards

Volunteers are all over Bellingham!

Questions? Want to learn more?

contacts

Parks and Recreation Volunteer Program

Phone:  (360) 778-7105

Email: pkvolunteers@cob.org

To receive quarterly updates and volunteer opportunities send us an email.

Parks and Recreation Contacts