Volunteer

Teens stand around a park entrance sign, holding rakes and other tools.

The Clark County Public Works volunteer program engages the community in meaningful volunteer experiences that enhance community assets like parks and roadways. These activities also support the mission of Public Works "to enhance Clark County's quality of life by providing transportation, environmental, and parks facilities and services." Volunteers are essential to enhancing the beauty, safety, accessibility and quality of our parks, public lands, transportation corridors and trails. 

All volunteers must agree to abide by the volunteer program policy


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Activities

Thinking of volunteering? Here's how you can get involved: 

Volunteer events: Volunteer events take place on a specific date and time, are facilitated by our program or a partner organization, and are usually open to drop-in participants (though some might require pre-registration). These events don't require long-term commitments. You can find upcoming events on our calendar. 

Children carry piles of weeds after removing them from a forested area.

Group volunteering: Churches, clubs, businesses, and organizations can work with us to schedule a volunteer event for their group. Contact us to get started. Be prepared to give information about your group size, preferred dates and times, and if you have preferences on the location of service or type of volunteer activity. 

Adults make comical poses around filled bags of litter, in a park.

Independent assignment volunteering: Independent assignment volunteers are residents who help on their own time, not as part of a sponsored volunteer event, specific volunteer program or group activity. Independent assignment volunteers can work with the volunteer program coordinator to identify an activity, task or project that they are passionate about. Examples include litter pickup, invasive species removal, wildlife surveys and pet waste pickup. Independent assignment volunteers receive important safety information and training, tools, supplies and staff support. Volunteers are recognized via a year-end awards program. Contact us to get started as an independent assignment volunteer!

Independent assignment photo

Adopt-A-Park: If there's a park or open space owned or managed by Clark County that you love, this is the activity for you! Volunteers choose a park, trail or open space to adopt. Adopters organize and facilitate one volunteer activity each month April through September, and at least once between October and March. Activities usually consist of litter pickup but can sometimes include projects like cleaning picnic tables, adding bark chips to a playground, clearing vegetation from around a trail, and more. We provide all supplies, tools, materials and the training you'll need to complete the job and stay safe. 

Not sure which park to adopt? Contact us. If you're ready to apply to adopt a specific park or property, fill out an application.

Please note: Adopt-A-Park is NOT the same as the volunteer park host program. If you are interested in a park host position, please do not fill out an Adopt-A-Park application. 

Two teens and one adult stand on a paved trail in a natural area, holding litter grabbing sticks and partially filled litter collection bags.

Adopt-A-Road: Roadside litter can reduce property values, increase the spread of disease, injure wildlife, and increase the risk of collisions on the roadway. In the U.S. there are over 6,000 pieces of litter for every mile of road. Help keep Clark County beautiful by adopting a road! Adopters work with us to find a road segment that is safe for volunteer litter crews. Adopters complete an orientation and brief training, then gather friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers to complete three litter cleanups along their adopted road segment each year. We provide supplies and dispose of the litter; you bring the helping hands!

Ready to Adopt-A-Road? Contact us. If you know which road you want to adopt, or a general geographic area you'd like to work in, let us know. 

Two adults and two young people stand next to an orange sign that reads "Volunteer Litter Crew Ahead."

Volunteer park hosts: Clark County's Parks and Lands division cares for over 11,000 acres and 84 parks spread across 650 square miles. Volunteer park hosts live at select park sites to help ensure that, despite the geographic spread, our parks are always clean, safe and well-cared for. Park host positions are posted here when they become available.

Due to the high volume of applications received for the volunteer park host position at Lewisville Regional Park, we are not accepting additional applications at this time. 

Please sign up for our volunteer program newsletter, where we announce open park host positions when they become available. 

A brown and white farmhouse can be seen behind a leafless oak tree and situated on a gravel drive with a white gate and chain-link fence.

Advisory boards: Clark County Public Works has several community advisory boards. Click the links to learn more about these boards. 

White daisies and garden vegetation is seen in the foreground, with a white farm building in the background, surrounded by coniferous trees.

Have something else in mind? If none of the above opportunities seem like a good fit, contact us!


Contact

Questions about volunteering? Contact the Clark County Public Works Volunteer Program Coordinator Kaley McLachlan-Burton at kaley.mclachlan-burton@clark.wa.gov or 564.397.1679.


Use the blue arrows at the top left of the calendar to scroll to the next month.

Not seeing an opportunity that fits your schedule? Check out this list of other local organizations doing work in outdoor, public spaces, and how you can volunteer.

Note: Information listed in the above document is accurate as of 11.2021. If a URL or contact information listed in this document is no longer accurate, please use the internet to search for the organization's name and use their website to find information about volunteering with their organization. 


Newsletter

Each month we send an email highlighting ways to get involved, upcoming events, and celebrating the recent accomplishments of volunteers. 


All volunteers age 18 and older must sign a "Clark County Public Works Liability Release" before participating in any volunteer activity. 

Volunteers under age 18 cannot sign a release themselves. Minors under age 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a "Clark County Public Works Volunteer Program Parental/Guardian Consent" form instead. 

For activities with multiple events throughout the year, such as Adopt-A-Road or Adopt-A-Park, volunteers need to only sign one release annually. 

Group organizers can choose to use the sign-in-sheet style of liability release instead of having volunteers each sign their own release forms. Minors must still have a signed parental/guardian consent form.

Sign release forms digitally (all you need is a valid email address)

Volunteer Reporting Form

Use this form to report volunteer hours, activities, and projects, including Adopt-A-Road activities, Adopt-A-Park activities, group activities, and individual volunteer projects. Include any time you spent coordinating volunteer activities on behalf of a group.

Current volunteer park hosts

Use this form monthly to report your volunteer time and duties performed. 


COVID

Current COVID Guidelines (updated 2/16/2022)

COVID-related restrictions on the maximum number of event/activity participants have been lifted. However, certain volunteer activities may still have restrictions on the maximum number of participants as part of volunteer program policy. Please contact the volunteer program coordinator to determine the maximum number of participants for your event or activity. 

Group activity leaders are responsible for ensuring that participants with their group follow masking and distancing requirements (described below). Leaders must ensure that all participants are free of symptoms and have not experienced symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within the last five days (click here for isolation guidelines, and when those who test positive can safely re-join public activities). 

During volunteer activities, all participants are required to carry a mask with them. Masks must be worn when six feet of distance cannot be maintained between individuals who don't live in the same household. 

For questions please email kaley.mclachlan-burton@clark.wa.gov or call 564.397.1679.

Two volunteers wearing masks pick up litter using litter grabbing sticks and trash bags, in a forested park.

Volunteering Frequently Asked Questions

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We love that we live in a community with so many wanting to help make it a great place to live, work, and play! Anyone who wants to help Clark County parks, roads, or open spaces by volunteering to pick up litter, trim vegetation, maintain trails, etc., MUST get approval from the Public Works volunteer program. Our Volunteer Coordinator will work with you (or your group) to ensure volunteer safety by providing safety information, tools, supplies, and personal protective equipment. We can also help by disposing of the litter you collect, so you don't have to put it in your own household waste bin. We can alert you if there are any hazards in the area you wish to work in, and make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable volunteer experience. We also need to know ahead of time what work you plan to do, so that we can make sure it won't impact other park users, scheduled events, planned projects, or neighbors, and that we have staff available to support your efforts if needed. Additionally, those who perform volunteer tasks or activities in county parks, roads, or rights-of-way without prior authorization are personally liable for any claims anyone might make related to their actions. We make volunteering safe, easy, and fun. Contact us if you want to volunteer and we'll make sure you have everything you need!

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First, read about the different ways to get involved in the Activities section of this webpage. Decide which option is best for you, then follow the instructions for signing up for that activity. Volunteers do not need to complete an application for drop-in volunteer events or for group events. All volunteers must sign the proper release forms before participating in any volunteer activity.

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Volunteers should always wear closed-toed shoes and long pants, even in the summer months, to protect them from the most common types of injuries seen during activities. Long-sleeved shirts are a good idea for volunteers who will be working with brush or vegetation. Volunteers should dress for the weather, wearing layers that can be added or removed to ensure comfort in changing temperatures and conditions. Waterproof layers should be included when the forecast includes a chance of precipitation. We provide gloves for volunteers. 

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Volunteers should bring a water bottle. Volunteers should also bring anything they might need during prolonged periods outdoors including sunscreen, an asthma inhaler, or an epinephrine pen. Volunteers may bring their own work gloves, but we provide gloves for all participants to use during the volunteer activity. 

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It depends on the volunteer activity or the organization hosting the volunteer event. Generally, minors ages 13 to 17 can volunteer without their own parent/guardian present if there are enough staff assigned to an activity to property supervise, or if the volunteer group has at least one adult to supervise every five minors. Once you identify a volunteer activity your minor child would like to participate in, follow the sign-up instructions for that activity and ask the activity coordinator about the minor child policy for that activity. 

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When we are accepting applications for a vacant park host position, the announcement will be posted on the parks webpage and this volunteer webpage. We also announce the open position via social media (Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Nextdoor) and via local news outlets. We also work with local clubs, organizations, and associations to share information about the open positions with their members. You can also sign up for the volunteer program newsletter where we will also announce open positions. 

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Contact us to schedule a volunteer activity for a group, club or organization. Maximum allowable group size is dependent on season, staff availability, activity type and location. 

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We try to provide snacks to keep our volunteers fueled and ready to help, but sometimes we are unable to provide snacks. Events hosted by our partners may or may not provide snacks.

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We coordinate volunteer activities in unincorporated areas of Clark County. Volunteer activities taking place within a city's limits are coordinated by that agency. Click these links to find out more about volunteer opportunities in: Camas, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, Washougal, and Vancouver

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If you have an idea for a project, contact us. We can help connect you with the appropriate staff to review your project. The decision about whether or not to approve a project is made with consideration of the project type, staffing levels, impact of the project on maintenance and operations, budget, location of the project, and impact of the project. Some projects have legal requirements for proposals, review, and installation. 

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Students seeking volunteer activities to meet school or club service requirements are welcome to participate in any available volunteer opportunities and must meet all applicable volunteer requirements, e.g., minimum age for participation and a parental consent form signed by a parent/guardian. The volunteer program does not have additional or separate volunteer opportunities for student service and cannot create additional opportunities to meet a student's deadlines for their required service. Students (with parent/guardian supervision) may participate in an individual assignment position if one is currently available. 

School clubs, student groups, educational programs, and trade schools can participate in existing programs as long as they meet all applicable requirements. For the Adopt-A-Park program, for example, this would include having an adult facilitator and committing to a minimum one year of service. 

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Residents volunteering as part of court-ordered community service are welcome to participate in any available volunteer opportunities. They must meet all applicable requirements for specific volunteer assignments, e.g., background checks and fingerprinting for unsupervised volunteering in parks. The volunteer program does not have additional or separate volunteer opportunities for court-ordered service and cannot create additional opportunities to meet an individual's deadlines for required service. Residents may participate via an individual assignment position if one is currently available. 

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Currently the Clark County Public Works volunteer program does not participate as a host site for Eagle Scout projects. 

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Contact us about using a county park or facility as part of a student project. Project approval is based on mutual benefit (must provide a benefit to the public patrons of the park or facility), season, site availability, and the details of the project. If a project is approved, the student must follow all applicable requirements which may include submitting to a background check/fingerprinting if age 18 or older, and signing a volunteer agreement outlining the parameters of the project and use of a county facility.