Volunteer Program Newsletter - March 2019

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March 2019

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department's Volunteer Services Newsletter

The City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department is lucky to have such a service minded community behind it. We are truly grateful for our volunteers.

Volunteer Today and Join the Fun

Photo collage of volunteer projects in February

Find out about all of the ways to get involved by clicking on the button below!

Volunteer Program Website

Volunteer Spotlight: Marshall and Poplar Street Neighbors

Photo of AAP group Marshall/Poplar Street Neighbors

Led by Joe Layton and Sarah Roholt, these volunteers are an enthusiastic bunch of neighbors who value the quality of the green spaces in Raleigh. When we first began work on two areas in their neighborhood back in 2015, they were choked with non-native invasive plants. Entire mature oak trees were coated in English ivy, coastal smilax was killing other trees, and ligustrum, mimosa, and white mulberry plants prevented sunlight to much of the ground. At the end of each work day, they had enormous piles of invasive plants ready to be hauled away, leaving both properties healthier and more natural. Without their dedication these habitats would continue to degrade, creating hazards for the neighborhood and spreading invasive plants downstream to other sites. Because of their tireless efforts we have begun to restore the parks with native plants. With their assistance, we have installed 17 trees and many flowering perennials and grasses. Not content to stop there, this group of dedicated neighbors carried water to the new plants in 5-gallon buckets through the sweltering growing season. All the plants are native, provide shelter and food for wildlife and have great benefits for pollinators.

Invasive Species Spotlight: Golden Bamboo

Photo collage of invasive of the month - bamboo

Phyllostachys aurea, commonly known as golden bamboo, was introduced in the late 1800’s as a Chinese ornamental plant. Since then, golden bamboo has spread throughout the southeast and is considered a pest in many states where it occurs. Spreading by roots, dense colonies quickly form. It is a difficult species to eradicate, requiring many hours of effort over several years. This species unfortunately can be found at several of our parks and greenway trails including Jaycee Park, Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve, and Dorothea Dix Park.

For more information on native and invasive plant species, visit our Invasive Species Program webpage by clicking the button below.

More Information

Pinwheels in Parks

Photo collage of the Pinwheels in Parks event

The City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, and the Raleigh Police Department want you to show the children and families in your community you support them by recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month this April!

Volunteer Duties: Become a pinwheel partner and help us plant Pinwheels in Parks on Tuesday, April 2. Volunteers are needed to help plant 200 pinwheels at the following parks:

  • Laurel Hill Park
  • Optimist Park
  • John Chavis Memorial Park
  • Marsh Creek Park

Plan to kickoff your volunteer experience by joining us at Nash Square for the Pinwheels in Parks opening ceremony.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers will check in with community center staff at the location they registered for and complete a release form prior to volunteering. Volunteers under the age of 18 will need a parent/guardian to accompany them at the project and sign the release form. Staff will provide volunteers with a welcome, pinwheels and instructions to plant pinwheels, and the location in the park to plant.

More Information

It's My Park and Trail Day

Photo collage for It's My Park and Trail Day

Join us on Saturday, April 13th for the City of Raleigh's fourth annual It's My Park and Trail Day. This annual day of service is held on the last Saturday of National Volunteer Week to promote volunteerism in Raleigh Parks. 

The Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department has over 200 parks and 120 miles of greenway trails throughout the City. With thousands of users each day, our Raleigh Parks system provides a fun, outdoor experience for all to enjoy. 

We are seeking individuals of all ages to assist with picking up litter and cleaning up City of Raleigh parks, open spaces, greenway trails, dog parks, playgrounds, outdoor athletic fields and courts, and natural areas.  Volunteers under the age of 15 will need a parent/guardian to accompany them. 

For those volunteers interested in participating in a supervised park clean up, you can sign up at one of the following sites in Raleigh from 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

  • Abbots Creek Park (9950 Durant Road)
  • Method Community Park (514 Method Road)
  • Peach Road Park (911 Ileagnes Road)
  • Sanderford Road Park (2623 Sanderford Road) 

If you are interested in cleaning up a site not listed above, please contact Mary Owens at mary.owens@raleighnc.gov to coordinate an unsupervised park or trail clean-up.

More Information

April Egg Hunts

Photo collage of egg hunt events hosted by recreation

If you enjoy working with children, join us on April 13th at one of the three parks in Raleigh to help host an egg hunt. Games, activities, and an egg hunt will be taking place at each location. 

Volunteer Requirements: All volunteers must fill out a release form. Those under the age of 18 must have a guardian complete this form. The age requirements are different per location. Please click on the links below to learn more.

Abbotts Creek Park

Green Road Park

Peach Road Park

Letterland Day at Pullen Park

Photo collage of Letterland

On Saturday, April 27th, Pullen Park will be turned into Letterland, home to all the letters of the alphabet. Going into its 6th year at the park, Letterland Day at Pullen Park has become a popular annual event for the youth of our community.

Volunteer Duties: Throughout the event, there will be different activity stations represented by letters of the alphabet. As a volunteer, it will be your job to facilitate the activities in the area you are assigned to and engage the children and families in the activities. If you volunteer to be one of the characters, we expect you to stay in character while with the children.

We are also specifically looking for 2 individuals per shift that would be willing to play the part of our costumed characters and interact with the children, pose for photo ops and get a smile out of our guests. This a great chance to bring out the inner mascot in you! You will be working with staff and this position will require a background check. If interested, please let us know in the registration notes and email mary.owens@raleighnc.gov 

Volunteer Requirements: You must be at least 14 years old to volunteer. All volunteers will need to complete a volunteer release form (for volunteers under the age of 18 a parent/guardian will need to sign the volunteer form). This will be sent to you prior to the event.

More Information

Upcoming Special Events, Recreation, and Resource Volunteer Opportunities


 Click the links below for more information and to register as a volunteer.

Sensory Friendly Saturdays - Ongoing

Digital Inclusion Teacher Assistants - Ongoing

Robotics Program - Ongoing

Dorothea Dix 5k Race/Walk - 3/9/19

Spring Smash Pickleball Tournament - 3/22/19 - 3/24/19

Rock the Block - 3/29/19

Hello Spring - 3/30/19

ICSA Swim Meet - 3/30/19

2019 Pinwheels in Parks - 4/2/19

Abbotts Creek Egg Hunt - 4/13/19

Egg Hunt at Green Road - 4/13/19

Egg Hunt at Peach Road - 4/13/19

Letterland - 4/27/19

ICSA Swim Meet - 4/27/19

Mud Day - 5/18/19

Upcoming Park and Natural Resources Projects


Click the buttons below for more information and to register as a volunteer.

Trail Building at Horseshoe Farms - March - April 2019

Bio Retention Maintenance at Horseshoe - March - May 2019

NestWatch at Durant Nature Preserve - March - Aug. 2019

Invasive Removal with NC Museum of Art - 3/1/19

Mulching at Raleigh Municipal Building - 3/1/19

Mulching at Fred Fletcher Park - 3/6/19

Early Release Teen Service Day - 3/8/19

Mulching at Mordecai - 3/14/19

Invasive Removal on Walnut Creek Trail - 3/15/19

Invasive Plant Removal at Horseshoe Farms - 3/16/19

Mulching at Sassafras - 3/20/19

Mulching Athletic Field 4 at Lions Park - 3/21/19

House Creek Trail Mulching and Clean-Up - 3/27/19

Joslin Garden Trail Maintenance Day - 4/4/19

2019 It's My Park and Trail Day - 4/13/19

Big Sweep: Walnut Creek Wetland Park - 4/13/19

Seed and Straw Crabtree Creek Trail - 4/18/19

Planting Annuals in City Plaza - 5/2/19

Invasive Plant Removal at Durant - 5/19/19

Recent Adopt-A-Park Projects

Photo collage of recent Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Events

Calling all Adopt-A-Park volunteers! We are starting to fill in dates for projects on our calendar. Reserve a spot today by emailing Mary Owens.  

Want to make sure your Adopt-A-Park group's recent project is highlighted in the update? Be sure to let prvolunteer@raleighnc.gov know you are planning on having a project and send a picture that you would like to have used in the next "Recent Adopt-A-Park Projects" update. 

Recent Adopt-A-Park Projects:

Forest Ridge: Neuse River Hawks

Poplar/Marshall Street: Poplar/Marshall Street Neighbors

Powell Drive: Joe and Kinny Hartman

Raleigh Rose Garden: Rose Garden Volunteers

Roanoke Park: Roanoke Neighbors

Recent Adopt-A-Trail Cleanups

Photo collage of Adopt-A-Trail Adoptees

If you are a member of the Adopt-A-Trail Program and are interested in being featured in our newsletter, be sure and send photos to prvolunteer@raleighnc.gov and let us know when you do a clean-up. 

Recent Adopt-A-Trail Projects:

Honeycutt Trail: The Thomas Family

House Creek Trail: Richard Bostic

Opportunities for All People

You are invited to make a positive impact in Raleigh by volunteering for a park project, athletic team, special event or the Adopt-A-Park program. With over 200 parks and 120 miles of Greenway trails, a difference can be made across the city. There are many opportunities for individuals, groups, students, businesses, churches, and organizations to contribute time, talent and resources to City parks. Join us today!

For more information, contact Mary Owens.

Photo of volunteers at Park

We Want to Hear from You

We love working with volunteers and we want to make sure we are providing the best experience possible. If you would like to help us make our program stronger, please take a few minutes to fill out our short survey.

Volunteer Experience Survey