V isualize the future
O pen your mind
L earn about your community
U nearth your passion
N urture your soul
T est your skills
E xpress yourself
E xperience something new
R evitalize your life
Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department actively seeks volunteers to assist with specific events, park clean-ups and recreation programs. We think we have some of the very best volunteers in the country! If you have ever been one of them - THANK YOU!
Please note that we regret we are unable to offer court-ordered community service opportunities beyond our community events, which are open to all. The organizations below may be able to assist you:
- Kent Jail: 253-856-5960 ($30 background check required)
- Kent Youth & Family Services: 253-859-0300 (must be 18)
- Kent Food Bank: 253-520-3550 (Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri., 10-2 plus one evening per month)
- Lifelong: 206-957-1607 (food delivery to ill shut-ins, application & orientation required)
Our outdoor park improvement community volunteer events are usually spring and fall on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. - 12 noon, rain or shine. Parks staff can provide a limited supply of tools, and volunteers are advised to bring gloves and a shovel or pruners, wear sturdy shoes or boots (no flip-flops or sandals!) and dress for the weather. Orientation and a safety briefing starts promptly at 9:00 AM. We provide water and are grateful to our friends at the Starbucks on 4th & Meeker for donating hot chocolate and coffee for our volunteers, too.
Pre-registration is important to keep our events manageable, safe and fun for everyone. So sign up by noon at least three days before each event. (If you miss the three-day deadline, please call to see if registrations are full: 253-856-5113.)
Online registration now available for all of park improvement events! All community events and Green Kent work parties (see below) conveniently in one place! Registration ensures that we have enough tools, tasks and staff supervision for everyone. For more about the Green Kent Partnership, click on the link below. For other volunteer opportunities in the city, click here.
In 1995, we developed an Adopt-A-Park Program for groups and individuals interested in volunteering at various parks in the city. Under the Adopt-a-Park umbrella now are 1) one-time park improvement projects for groups of 10 or more, 2) spring and fall community-wide events (listed above), 3) litter clean-ups for groups of students, scouts or other groups interested in doing community service and 4) seasonal park clean-up commitments, where a group truly does "adopt" one favorite park or trail and maintains it without staff assistance.
To learn more about the Adopt-A-Park Program or upcoming volunteer opportunities, call 253-856-5113 or email Park staff with your name, the group you are with (if applicable), address, daytime phone number and email address. Or, simply fill out a volunteer intake form online, checking off the Adopt-a-Park box. Once we receive it, we'll touch base with you about your time commitment and interests. We will do our best to match you up with a volunteer experience that will be both meaningful for you and helpful to us.
Eagle Scout Projects
Over 200 projects have been completed to date by young men - and a few young women in the Girl Scouts - to improve Kent Parks for residents and visitors. Eagle Scout candidates should allow a minimum of three months to plan and execute their project. The city of Kent does not approve projects with "emergency" deadlines due to a scout's impending 18th birthday. Kent Parks maintains a list of projects that can be done by a scout and his volunteers with limited parental or adult involvement. Most projects take well over 100 volunteer hours! Projects may be subject to site conditions, staff availability, weather and available city funds if scouts cannot raise 100% of the project costs. All Eagle Scout projects need to be completed within six months maximum. Eagle Scout candidates should be prepared to present themselves in a professional manner in communications (phone calls, meetings, emails, etc.) with the Eagle Scout coordinator and other city staff. For details about our requirements and to receive the list of currently available projects, please complete the questionnaire and return it to Victoria Andrews.
WSP Background Checks Now Required
Depending on the program, volunteers may be required to complete a Washington State Patrol background check application form in addition to the intake form and a service agreement.