New: Bloomington.in.gov/alpha. Your feedback can help make our next website better!

Volunteer with Parks and Recreation

Volunteers Make Programs Happen!Volunteer logo

Volunteer Page

For more information on how you, your group or your business can become a volunteer, contact Nikki Wooten at 812-349-3739 or wootenn@bloomington.in.gov. Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter of volunteer opportunities.

Summer 2016 Volunteer Opportunities

ONE-DAY SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Bryan Park Creek Maintenance Days
Wednesdays, May 4, June 1, July 6, August 3, September 7, and October 5
Bloomington Parks and Recreation has earned Community Wildlife Habitat certification from the National Wildlife Federation. The Bryan Park Creek naturalized area played a key role in certification and requires periodic maintenance to control invasive plant species and ensure native plant success.
Duties: Volunteers assist with monthly upkeep of this natural area along beautiful Bryan Park Creek. Help maintain native plants by cutting back overgrown brush, removing invasive plants, and collecting native plant seeds.
Program time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Bryan Park, 1100 S. Woodlawn Ave.-Woodlawn Shelter
Age of volunteers: 12 yrs. and up (Children under age 12 yrs. must be accompanied by an adult.)
Number of volunteers: 5-30 Click Here to Register


The 50+ Expo: A Healthy, Active and Creative Lifestyle Event
Tuesday, May 10 setup/Wednesday, May 11 event
For more than 40 years, the 50+ Expo has been the community's premier showcase of businesses and organizations whose products and services are geared toward people ages 50 years and up.
Duties: Volunteers may decorate, direct exhibitors to their spaces, greet participants, distribute 50+ Expo information, collect participant feedback, and tear down the event.
Program Time:
Tuesday, May 10 shift: 2-5 p.m. (6 volunteers)/Event setup
Wednesday, May 11 shifts:
Shift #1, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (5 volunteers)/Exhibit hall assistants
Shift #2, 2:30-4:45 p.m. (2 volunteers)/Welcome table
Shift #3, 3-5 p.m. (2 volunteers)/General Expo and evaluations
Shift #4, 4:30-6:30 p.m. (2 volunteers)/Welcome table
Shift #5, 5-7 p.m. (2 volunteers)/Evaluation table
Training: Volunteers are trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Twin Lakes Recreation Center, 1700 W. Bloomfield Rd.
Age of Volunteers: 16 yrs. and up
Click Here to Register


Ferguson Dog Park Cleanup Days
Wednesdays, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, and October 12
Bloomington Parks and Recreation opened Ferguson Dog Park, a park specifically for dogs and their owners, in fall 2012. Our goal is to offer a safe and environmentally clean green space at the park. Periodic maintenance and upkeep is needed to ensure a sustainable park for the future.
Duties: Several landscaped areas enhance the aesthetics of the dog park and help address potential environmental hazards associated with maintaining the park. Volunteers learn more about the proactive work being done by our natural resources area and help maintain the native plant areas.
Program time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Ferguson Dog Park, 1100 S. 4300 N. Stone Mill Rd.
Age of volunteers: 12 yrs. and up (Children under age 12 yrs. must be accompanied by an adult.)
Number of volunteers: 5-30

Click Here to Register


Bike Rodeo
Saturday, May 21
The Bike Rodeo is a free, family-oriented event that both entertains and educates children on cycling safety and the importance of wearing bike helmets. Participants can bike through an obstacle course, enjoy healthy snacks, and learn something new!
Duties: If you value child safety, the Bike Rodeo provides a great opportunity to get involved. Volunteers assist with the safety challenge course, fit bike helmets, and distribute snacks.
Program Time: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Parking lot on Rogers and Tenth Streets (by the B-Line Trail)
Age of Volunteers: 18 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 5-7

Click Here to Register


Active Living Coalition Health Fair
Saturday, May 21
Get up, get out, and get active at the Active Living Coalition's annual Health Fair! Patrons can visit more than 20 health and wellness-related booths, watch exercise demonstrations, take home some special giveaways, and gather all the information needed to live a healthy lifestyle!
Duties: Support health and wellness efforts in our community. Early morning volunteers prepare set up the event and assist exhibitors. While late morning volunteers distribute water, welcome returning participants, and deconstruct the route.
Program Time: Shift #1, 8:30-10 a.m./Shift #2, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Showers Plaza, 401 N. Morton St.
Age of Volunteers: 16 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 1-2 per shift

Click Here to Register


National Trails Day 2016
Saturday, June 4
Participate in the American Hiking Society's 23nd Anniversary of National Trails Day! Hiking trails allow us to keep in touch with the natural world while exercising and relieving stress. A wide variety of recreation, fitness, and transportation goals can be achieved with a good trail system.
Duties: Volunteers are needed to help maintain Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.
Program time: 9 a.m.-noon
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, 3300 N. Headley Rd.
Age of volunteers: 14 yrs. and up (Children under 14 yrs. must be accompanied by an adult.)
Number of volunteers: 25

Click Here to Register


Touch a Truck
Wednesday, June 15
Rain date: Thursday, June 16
Children get up close and personal with fire trucks, ambulances, buses, bucket trucks, and more. They explore the inner workings or the outside gadgets of the big rigs they have always been curious about!
Duties: Do you enjoy seeing amazement on the faces of small children? Come experience it firsthand. Volunteers assist with event setup, monitor stations, and distribute refreshments and snacks to our guests.
Program Time: Shift #1, 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m./Shift #2, noon-3 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Twin Lakes Sports Park, 2350 W. Bloomfield Rd.-parking lot
Age of Volunteers: 16 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 5 per shift
Click Here to Register

Bug Fest
Saturday, June 25
Visitors learn all about amazing insects at Bloomington's second annual Bug Fest! Go on an insect safari, handle cool insects, make a craft, and participate in a mealworm race or cricket-spitting contest. The day includes speakers and information booths on a variety of buggy topics. Partners include Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Monroe County Parks and Recreation, The WonderLab Museum, Purdue Extension office, and Hilltop Garden and Nature Center.
Duties: Volunteers engage children in bug exploration. Discuss various types of bugs, lead a bug activity, or work with our speaker series. Share your interest in outdoor education with children. It inspires!
Program Time: Shift #1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m./Shift #2, 12:45-4p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.
Age of Volunteers: 18 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 17 per shift

Click Here to Register


Fourth of July Parade
Monday, July 4
Everybody loves a PARADE! People with lawn chairs in hand head downtown to celebrate while waving their flags proudly!
Duties: Volunteers help with road closures and organizing entries in specified holding area.
Program Time: 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Meet at the Sample Gates, Indiana and Kirkwood Avenues.
Age of Volunteers: 18 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 2
Click Here to Register

Bryan Park Itsy Bitsy Kids Triathlon
Saturday, July 16
Encourage children ages 5-10 yrs. to get active with this fun, non-competitive event! The triathlon includes a 50-meter swim in Bryan Park Pool, 1.5-mile cycle, and .5-mile run. Every child who takes part is a winner!
Duties: Promote active living for all ages. Volunteers prepare the course, direct traffic during the bike and run legs, and cheer on every participant.
Program Time: 8-11 a.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained during a pre-event training.
Location: Bryan Park Pool, 1100 S. Woodlawn Ave.-parking lot
Age of Volunteers: 18 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 20
Click Here to Register

Messy Mania
Tuesday, July 12
Kids get crazy with their hands when we let them experiment with all kinds of messy mediums, with no worries about creating chaos in the house! These hands-on activities will delight every youngster who loves to squish, splatter, and fling! Let us take care of the prep time and clean up, while children experience a morning of head-to-toe, ooey gooey good times!
Duties: Have ooey gooey fun helping kids make ooey gooey projects! Volunteers assist with preparation, hands-on activities, and don't forget the cleanup that follows.
Program Time: Shift #1, 7:30-11 a.m./Shift #2, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Bryan Park, 1001 S. Henderson St.
Age of Volunteers: 14 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 10 per shift
Other: Wear clothing you don't mind getting messy.
Click Here to Register

Tomato Tasting
Saturday, August 6
Experience the spectrum of heirloom tomatoes the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market has to offer. Yellow, orange, purple, green-patrons are able to taste a kaleidoscope of colors and expand their horizons beyond the common red tomato!
Duties: Take part in one of the glories of summer as you distribute samples of different tomatoes.
Program Time: Shift #1, 7:30-10 a.m./Shift #2, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Showers Plaza, 401 N. Morton St.
Age of Volunteers: 16 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 8-12 per shift
Click Here to Register

Drool in the Pool
Wednesday, August 10
Thursday, August 11
Mills Pool is closed for humans, but is open for two more days of swimming for our canine friends. The first evening features dog paddling fun and a jumping contest. The second evening is filled with a variety of entertaining contests, giveaways, and more swimming. Various pet-related businesses and organizations will be on hand during the second night only. Dog guards are on duty to supervise any dogs gone wild but are not expected to get into the pool.
Duties: Don't let the dog days of summer get you down. Assist with doggie giveaways and contests and become a dog lifeguard! Help give our four-legged friends two days to relax at the pool!
Program Time: 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Mills Pool, 1100 W. 14th St.
Age of Volunteers: 16 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 5 per evening
Click Here to Register

Junk in the Trunk
Saturday, August 20
The Junk in the Trunk community rummage sale is recycling and treasure hunting all at the same time! There is plenty of room outside the Frank Southern Ice Arena for many different vendors to set up and sell unwanted furniture, books, clothing, toys, household goods, and more.
Duties: Be where the treasures are. Volunteers assist staff in setup and running the event. There will also be time to do your own treasure hunting.
Program Time: Shift #1, 6:30-10 a.m./Shift #2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Frank Southern Ice Arena, 2100 S. Henderson St.
Age of Volunteers: 16 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 3-4 per shift
Click Here to Register

Play Day
Friday, August 26
Come out and PLAY! Bloomington has once again been named a Playful City USA by KaBOOM!, and we intend to celebrate! We'll have games, a bounce house, and playful activities for kids of all ages. The evening ends with the showing of the family-friendly movie, "Hairspray", on the big screen!
Duties: Recall your childhood playing in the park. Assist with various outdoor activities that promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Program Time: 5:45-8:15 p.m.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Bryan Park, 1001 S. Henderson St.
Age of Volunteers: 16 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 2
Click Here to Register

Community Gardening
Schedule a day, March-October
Grow closer to local food! Community Gardening grows both plants and community. Since 1984, the Parks and Recreation Department has offered community gardening opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. A favorite venue of volunteer groups, the gardens benefit from a number of service projects throughout the year.
Duties: Volunteers assist the staff in maintaining paths, turning compost, weeding, and harvesting as well as creating and maintaining ornamental, wildlife, and demonstration plantings.
Program Time: Schedule your group for a three- to four-hour shift.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Willie Streeter or Butler Park Community Gardens
Age of Volunteers: 12 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: Groups of 5-25
Click Here to Register

Volunteer to Maintain our Natural Spaces
Schedule a Day, March-November
Help maintain and restore some of Bloomington's most scenic natural areas. Many group volunteer projects are available throughout the Bloomington community. Help is needed in the parks listed below.
Duties: Staff will work with your group or organization to formulate a work plan. Duties may include applying wood chips or gravel to paths, removing invasive plant species, trimming obstructive vegetation, or re-routing trails.
Program Time: Schedule your group for a three- to four-hour shift.
Training: Volunteers will be trained at the beginning of their shift.
Location: Leonard Springs Nature Park, Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, Wapehani Mountain Bike Park, RCA Park, Winslow Woods Park, and Bryan Park.
Age of Volunteers: 12 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: Groups of 5-25
Click Here to Register

ONGOING SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Bloomington Walking Club
Thursdays, April 7-October 27
Join a fun and informal gathering of walkers to develop healthy physical activity habits and meet new friends. Walkers choose from a two- or four-mile route and go at their own pace. Presented by IU Health Bloomington, Southern Indiana Physicians, Purdue Extension, and Bloomington Parks and Recreation.
Duties: Embrace a healthy lifestyle and share it with others from the Bloomington community. Lead the walking group on their two- or four-mile route. Ensure safety and provide encouragement along the way.
Program Time: 5:45-7:15 p.m.
Training: Volunteers are required to attend a volunteer orientation prior to the program.
Location: Olcott Park, 2300 E. Canada Drive
Age of Volunteers: 18 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 1-2 Click Here to Register


Banneker Summer Food and Fun
June 6-July 29
Help students retain math and reading skills this summer by volunteering to read with students and review basic school-age mathematics. Additionally, facilitate activities in art and science and engage children in active games and play.
Duties: Whether you enjoy working with youth or have professional aspirations to, this service opportunity gives you hands-on experience. Work one-on-one with students and help staff members and community organizations facilitate enrichment activities and field trips focused on art, science, and other fun subjects! Program Time: 3-4 hours weekly anytime between 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (Primary need between 10 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Training: Volunteers are required to attend an orientation prior to the program.
Location: Banneker Community Center, 930 W. Seventh St.
Age of Volunteers: 18 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: 4-6 per day, Monday-Friday
Other: We ask that you commit to at least 3 hours per week.
Click Here to Register


Adopt-a-Trail
Monthly inspections/One-year commitment
More than 30 trail miles in Bloomington's city parks need periodic inspections and maintenance to remain safe and usable. Volunteers have been valuable in establishing and maintaining our trails for many years. Parks and Recreation staff provide training and equipment to volunteer groups of any size for monthly trail monitoring and annual trail maintenance.
Duties: Inspect adopted trail at least once a month. Complete and submit reports on trail status. Provide maintenance as needed.
Program Time: Trail inspections can be completed at your leisure. Schedule your trail work day with the Adopt-a-Trail coordinator.
Timeline: Volunteers must submit an online application, then complete an orientation.
Location: Various trails are available for adoption.
Age of Volunteers: 12 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: Individuals and groups of varying sizes are welcome. Recruitment class determined by number of available trails.
Click Here to Register


Adopt-an-Acre
Monthly visits/One-year commitment
Adopt-an-Acre is an all-volunteer program that gives the public the opportunity to actively address invasive plant issues in Bloomington and Monroe County. Griffy has thriving populations of bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, winter creeper, privet, and multiflora rose, all which are out-competing native plants. Parks and Recreation staff provide the necessary training in invasive plant identification and equip volunteers to proactively monitor and remove impeding plants within their adopted area.
Duties: Inspect and make progress in removing invasive plants in adopted area of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve a minimum of once a month. Complete and submit monthly progress reports. Attend quarterly training workshops or review electronic training materials to adequately identify invasive plants and learn proper technique for removing.
Program Time: Inspections and progress visits can be completed at your leisure.
Time line: Volunteers must submit an online application, then complete an orientation.
Locations: Various parcels of land are available for adoption at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. We have plot sizes for individuals and for groups.
Age of Volunteers: 12 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: Individuals and groups of varying sizes are welcome. Recruitment class determined by number of available plots.
Click Here to Register


Adopt-a-Stream
Monthly Inspections/One-year commitment
Adopt a Stream is an all-volunteer program that gives the public an opportunity to be actively involved in conserving and maintaining the natural wealth and beauty of streams that run through public park property owned by the City of Bloomington and Monroe County. Staff provides training and equipment for monthly stream monitoring and annual stream maintenance.
Duties: Inspect adopted stream at least once a month. Complete and submit reports on stream condition. Provide general maintenance such as removing debris and litter. Attend a Hoosier Riverwatch workshop and perform water quality monitoring tests at the stream at least four times per year.
Program Time: Stream inspections can be completed at your leisure.
Time line: Volunteers must submit an online application, then complete an orientation.
Volunteers must submit an online application by April8. An orientation takes place in late April. One-year appointment starts May.
Location: Various streams are available for adoption in Bloomington and Monroe County.
Age of Volunteers: 12 yrs. and up
Number of Volunteers: Individuals and groups of varying sizes are welcome. Recruitment class determined by number of streams available.
Click Here to Register


Leisure Companion
May-August
The Leisure Companion Program is a service in which participants with disabilities are partnered with a volunteer companion who provides additional support during participation in inclusive activities. The level of support will vary according to the specific needs of each individual.
Duties: As a Leisure Companion, you facilitate inclusion by advocating for the participant, providing support during activities, protecting the dignity of the participant, emphasizing similarities of participants, creating an environment for success, encouraging independent participation, and most of all, being a supportive friend!
Program Time: Dates and times will vary according to program needs.
Training: Volunteers are required to attend an orientation prior to the program.
Location: Locations of events and programs vary depending on program registration.
Age of volunteers: 16 yrs. and up

For more information about becoming a Leisure Companion, contact Amy Shrake, Inclusive Recreation Coordinator, at shrakea@bloomington.in.gov