Ways To Give Back In Roanoke

Are you looking for a rewarding and fun way to give back to your community? We are always looking for volunteers to help! Here is a list of ways that you can help out:

Adopt a Park

Did you know that any local community organization, business or individual over the age of 18 is eligible to adopt a park, plaza, or Greenway? All you need to do is commit to organizing four park clean-ups per year for a minimum of two years. Roanoke Parks and Recreation can provide your team with trash bags and safety vests to borrow, and even help your team haul away trash bags if given notice in advance.

Terms and Guidelines

Volunteer Application

After School Program Aide

Are you interested in helping children in your community? Roanoke Parks and Recreation facilitates after school care and programming to children in kindergarten through 5th grade from 2:30pm-5:30pm Monday-Friday. This program is available at the Grandin Court Recreation Center, Eureka Recreation Center, and Preston Park Recreation Center. Volunteer tasks include helping with homework, decorating bulletin boards, serving snacks, playing games, leading exercise classes, and more. Volunteers should have experience or a desire to work with  young children. An interest in education or counseling is a plus. This volunteer position will require a background check and drug test. 

For more information, please contact Melida McKee, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Youth Development Coordinator, at 540-510-4056 or melida.mckee@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

Athletic Field Maintenance

This volunteer opportunity is for those interested in the ongoing maintenance and beautification of multi-purpose athletic fields and ball diamonds. This may be an ideal opportunity for community groups, travel teams, or recreation clubs that would like to put work back into a community field or individuals with landscape or mowing maintenance experience. Hours are flexible and no experience is necessary. Volunteers can be under 18 but need to be accompanied by an adult. 

For more information, please contact Samantha Dickenson, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Athletics Coordinator, at 540-853-1253 or samantha.dickenson@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

Coach a Youth Sports Team

Coaching a youth sports team is a rewarding way to give back to our community and inspire our youth. Each season, we look for coaches to lead Basketball, Indoor Soccer, Outdoor Soccer, Flag Football and Softball teams. To apply, please contact Samantha Dickenson, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Athletics Coordinator, at 540-853-1253 or samantha.dickenson@roanokeva.gov.

Eagle Scout Service Projects

Every once a while, local Eagle Scouts reach out to our department’s Park and Greenway Planning division to help build trails, install equipment or build features that will benefit the community.

If you have a Roanoke Eagle Scout Service Project in mind, please contact Matt Gart at 540-853-2237 or matthew.gart@roanokeva.gov.

Volunteer Application

Front Desk Attendant

Are you interested in helping children in your community? The City of Roanoke is looking for customer service superstars to help out at the front desk at Preston and Eureka Recreation Centers. These centers offer after school and summer camp opportunities for children in kindergarten through 5th grade. Volunteers should be comfortable working with children and the public and will be responsible for assisting staff and processing payments. This opportunity is available Monday-Friday from 2:00pm-6:00pm and will require a background check and drug test.

For more information, please contact Melida McKee, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Youth Development Coordinator, at 540-510-4056 or melida.mckee@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

General Landscape Maintenance

Roanoke Parks and Recreation is looking for interested individuals and groups to maintain selected landscaped areas and beds in our parks. Tasks may include but are not limited to weeding, pruning, planting of annuals, and more. Hours are flexible and no experience is necessary. Volunteers can be under 18, but need to be accompanied by an adult. 

For more information, please contact Marilyn Arbogast, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Landscape Maintenance Coordinator, at 540-853-2630 or marilyn.arbogast@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

General Park Maintenance

Roanoke Parks and Recreation is looking for interested individuals and groups for general park maintenance volunteering. Tasks may include but are not limited to cleaning, washing tables and benches, emptying trash cans, blowing off courts and walkways, litter cleanup, event cleanup and more. Hours are flexible and no experience is necessary. 

For more information, please contact Michelle Phoenix, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Parks Maintenance Coordinator, at 540-853-5231 or michelle.phoenix@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

Greenway Ambassador

Greenway Ambassadors will strive to enhance the user experience by sharing the knowledge of routes, available resources, etiquette, and respect for other users on greenway trails throughout the City of Roanoke. Their goal is to assist users of all ages and experience levels to have a safe, fun, outdoor experience.

 

Qualifications:

  • 18 years of age
  • Outgoing, with good communication skills
  • Safety-oriented
  • Willing to register as a City volunteer
  • Willing to attend training
  • Willing to provide several hours of volunteer service per month.

Greenway Ambassador volunteers do not need to act as a volunteer every time they use a greenway. 

Volunteers are expected to:

  1. Commit to several hours of volunteering per month
  2. Complete Greenway Ambassador training with Roanoke Parks and Recreation and Roanoke Police Department
  3. Attend quarterly Greenway Ambassador Meetings
  4. Be familiar with Greenway resources and locations
  5. Provide education and awareness in a non-confrontational manner
  • User etiquette, custom, consideration
  • Resource location—bathrooms, water fountains, play grounds, restaurants, trail heads, routes, information kiosks
  1. Provide directions to other routes and trails
  2. Be available for user interaction
  3. Provide Greenway eyes and ears for Roanoke Parks and Recreation and Roanoke Police Department
  4. Contact appropriate emergency personnel when needed
  5. Complete feedback report to Trails and Greenways Supervisor each month with hours, sections patrolled, and issues addressed

For more information, please contact Renee Powers, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Trails and Greenways Supervisor, at 540-853-5867 or renee.powers@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

Painter

Roanoke Parks and Recreation is looking for volunteer painters to help beautify parks throughout the City. Projects in parks available for painting include but are not limited to picnic tables, sign posts, wooden and chain link fencing, shelters, and more. These projects can be completed individually or as a group. Hours and dates are flexible.

For more information, please contact Michelle Phoenix, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Parks Maintenance Coordinator, at 540-853-5231 or michelle.phoenix@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

Roanoke GO Outside Festival

Since 2011, Roanoke Parks and Recreation has hosted, organized and funded GO Fest in partnership with the Roanoke Outside Foundation. The Anthem GO Outside Festival (GO Fest) is a free three-day festival that celebrates outdoor recreation. Taking place in October each year, the festival offers more than 150 free, fun activities, big live music performances, professional athlete demonstrations, races, giveaways and more! In 2016, Roanoke GO Fest attracted 30,000 people from 39 states.

Want to help at GO Fest?

As a volunteer, you will help set up and break down the event, help attendees find activities, pour beer, sell beer tickets, be part of the GO Fest recycling Green Team or assist vendors.

Have a question about volunteering? Contact Kat Andrew, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Outdoor Recreation Supervisor and GO Fest Volunteer Coordinator, at 540-853-1276 or katherine.andrew@roanokeva.gov.

LEARN MORE

Summer Day Camp Volunteer Counselor

Are you interested in helping children in your community? Roanoke Parks and Recreation facilitates summer day camps to kindergarten through 5th grade children from 7:30am-6:00pm Monday-Friday at Eureka Recreation Center and Preston Recreation Center. Volunteers are needed to assist with meal service, preparing crafts, supervising campers on field trips, leading and teaching classes, playing games, and more. Volunteers should have experience or a desire to work with young children. An interest in education or counseling is a plus. This volunteer position will require a background check and drug test. 

For more information, please contact Melida McKee, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Youth Development Coordinator, at 540-510-4056 or melida.mckee@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

Trail Work

Roanoke Parks and Recreation regularly hosts volunteer trail work days throughout the city. Trail work days typically take place on the trails in Mill Mountain Park or at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, and occasionally on Fern Park, Fishburn Park or other natural surface trails. Participants must be over the age of 18 or 14+ if accompanied by an adult. All you need are sturdy shoes, water, work gloves and energy!

What you will do:

  • Help construct new trails
  • Maintain or improve existing trails
  • Learn basic trail maintenance techniques and skills

 

For more information about Roanoke Parks and Recreation volunteer trail maintenance work days, please contact Renee Powers, Trails and Greenways Supervisor at renee.powers@roanokeva.gov or 540-853-5867.

Upcoming Trail Work Opportunities

Volunteer Application

Train to Become a Roanoke Tree Steward

Unlike other cities its size, Roanoke has over 13,146 acres of tree canopy that covers more than 48 percent of the city’s limits. Home to more than 158 different types of trees, Roanoke’s urban forests are diverse and vast. To help protect the local tree ecosystem, Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry division offers volunteer Tree Stewards training each year.

Tree Stewards help care for young trees on city-owned property. The 26-hour training begins with nine classes held on Monday nights. Once the in-class training is complete, volunteers join three field sessions held on Saturday mornings during the spring. The in-field training focuses on tree planting, pruning, and tree identification. Once qualified, Roanoke Tree Stewards complete a minimum of 30 hours of work during their first year and 20 hours in subsequent years. Volunteers may also give educational presentations to adults and children. For more information, please contact Bill West, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry Coordinator at 540-853-1994 or william.west@roanokeva.gov

Volunteer Application

Volunteer Photography

Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s marketing team is always looking for the help of budding local photographers to help capture the beauty of Roanoke’s parks, greenways, plazas, and recreational programs all year round.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Long, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Marketing Coordinator, at 540-853-5847 or stephanie.long@roanokeva.gov.

Volunteer Application

Volunteer Wildflower Gardener

Do you have a green thumb? Roanoke Parks and Recreation is always looking for volunteers to help maintain the wildlife gardens around the Mill Mountain Discovery Center. Typical volunteer work includes pruning, planting new native plants, mulching, pulling weeds and more. All levels of experience are welcome, but the ability to move objects up to 50 pounds is required. 

If you’re interested, please contact Matt Allenbaugh, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Environmental Education Supervisor, at 540-853-1236 or matthew.allenbaugh@roanokeva.gov.

Volunteer Application