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Volunteer Opportunities in Salem Parks

There are many volunteer opportunities in Salem parks. Individuals as well as church or other service groups have the opportunity to perform park projects, which range from one-time events to ongoing park assistance. If you are interested in making a difference, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 503‑589‑2197 or at


 Upcoming Events

Friends of Pioneer Cemetery Work PartyPioneer CemeteryMonday, August 28, 20179:00 AM to 1:00 PM

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 Volunteer Opportunities

Park partner spreading bark dust

Park Partner Program

Park Partner tasks vary greatly and do not require any special skills or abilities—just people caring about our City parks.

Volunteer opportunities could include picking up litter, planning a park volunteer event, doing playground maintenance checks, cleaning picnic tables, sweeping hard surfaces, clearing tree circles, raking leaves, weeding, doing trail maintenance, filling mutt mitt dispensers, or simply being the eyes and ears for parks operations staff by reporting any problems. There is flexibility in the amount of time that Park Partner volunteers commit.


Yellow fire hydrant and can of paint

Fire Hydrant Painting

Painting City-owned fire hydrants is a fun and satisfying volunteer project for individuals, families, and organizations. Volunteers should contact the Volunteer Coordinator a week or more in advance to choose the neighborhood, the number of volunteers, and the date and time that they will pick up supplies for the project.

All fire hydrants in Salem must be painted yellow. Supplies are provided by City of Salem Parks and can be kept by the volunteer group until the project is completed. Leftover supplies and a map marked with the painted hydrants must be returned to the City of Salem Parks office. Each hydrant takes about 20 minutes or so to paint.


Park Patrol volunteer on bicycle in Minto-Brown Island park

Volunteer Park Patrol

Have you resolved to get more exercise? Spend more time outdoors? If so, then the Minto-Brown Island Volunteer Park Patrol might be the place for you!

Volunteers walk, jog, bicycle, and exercise their dogs as they keep Minto-Brown Island Park healthy and safe. If you’re unable to move about the park, you can perform the watch from your car, a bench, or a picnic table. Being a park patrol member is a fun way to enjoy nature and get exercise.

Patrol Members provide information to park users regarding trail conditions, directions, and park rules. Patrol members report hazardous conditions, vandalism, or illegal activities. The flexible scheduling fits almost everyone who is able to commit eight hours or more per month, at their own convenience.


Volunteers removing ivy
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No Ivy Coalition

The Salem No Ivy Coalition is dedicated to the control and eradication of English Ivy—an aggressive, non-native vine that kills trees and displaces native plants and wildlife.

A number of No Ivy events are hosted in Salem parks from late summer to late spring. Volunteers restore native habitat by removing the invasive plants. No experience is necessary, and tools and gloves are provided.

Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Families are welcome to participate. For specific information about English ivy control and local events, stay up-to-date with the Salem No Ivy Coalition blog.


Community Service worker

Court-Ordered Community Service

City of Salem Parks partners with a number of different courts to allow the public to complete their court-ordered community service. Learn more.


Pioneer Cemetery volunteer grooming a plot

Pioneer Cemetery

Volunteers have the opportunity to learn about the history of our community and spend some productive hours in pleasant company outdoors at Pioneer Cemetery. Tasks include pruning, general cleanup, headstone straightening, plot grooming, moss removal, and vine-pulling. If you have a knack for restoring order, then this is a fine volunteer opportunity for you.

Gloves and tools are provided. Work parties start at 9 a.m. and finish at noon or in the early afternoon. Work parties are usually scheduled for the second Saturday of the month, the following Monday, and the last Monday of the month during April through October. No work sessions are held on Memorial Day, but volunteers are always needed to run the visitor information station during the holiday weekend from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New volunteers and organized groups should contact the Volunteer Coordinator to sign up before joining a scheduled work party. Returning volunteers can simply sign the log sheet each day they participate.


People enjoying Movies in the Park at Riverfront Park

Movies in the Park

On several Saturday evenings each summer, films are shown at Riverfront Park amphitheatre during Movies in the Park. Four or more volunteers are needed at each showing to circulate through the crowd and help guests find a place to sit, hand out fliers, answer questions, and carry a donation bucket.

Volunteers are asked to report to Riverfront Park amphitheatre (behind the carousel) at 7 p.m. and stay until the end of the movie. City of Salem staff meet with volunteers at the giant screen to give instructions.


Volunteer gardeners picking out plants


Beginners and experienced gardeners learn about plants and have fun while weeding, digging, planting, and pruning with other volunteers.

Deepwood Gardeners meet Monday mornings at the Historic Deepwood Estate.

Friends of Bush Garden meet Tuesday mornings at the gardens in Bush’s Pasture Park.

Lord & Schryver Gardeners meet Thursday mornings.


Volunteer deadheading roses at Bush's Pasture Park

Rose Beds at Bush’s Pasture Park

When roses begin to bloom, spent flowers must be removed for the plant to continue producing additional blooms. Salem Parks is looking for volunteers who are willing to commit to one season of deadheading roses at Bush’s Pasture Park.

What is deadheading?

deadhead, transitive verb: to remove the faded flowers, especially to keep a neat appearance and to promote re-blooming by preventing seed production.

Who can volunteer?

Individuals, couples, families, and friends are encouraged to volunteer. Some may want to adopt two or three beds, and others may choose to care for more.

Volunteers will receive an initial lesson in deadheading and then care for their adopted beds at their leisure. Deadheading must be performed weekly from when the roses begin to bloom in June until early October.


 Application Forms

park-patrol-application.pdfPark Patrol Volunteer Application
pw-volunteer-app-en.pdfVolunteer Application Form (English)
pw-volunteer-app-sp.pdfVolunteer Application Form (Spanish)

 What’s Up


Volunteer at Pioneer Cemetery

pioneer cemetery volunteers

If you are a history buff who is interested in preservation and loves old cemeteries, consider joining Friends of Pioneer Cemetery's volunteer corps! Work parties start at 9:00 a.m. and finish at noon to early afternoon. Headstone straightening and repairs, moss removal, and vine-pulling are scheduled for upcoming dates. See the "Calendar" tab for dates, or send an email to

 Volunteer Calendar

< August, 2017 >
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