Have you ever wanted to volunteer in Washington state, but aren’t quite sure where to start?
It’s one of the best things you can do to get connected with the natural rhythms of caring for one another and the planet. By investing in your greater community, environment, and local setting, there is a greater love for the place you live!
Berty and I love discovering volunteer opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. That’s why we’ve created this list for you here!
If you want to find a way to combine your love of hiking and the Pacific Northwest with a desire to give back, you’re in luck! Keep reading to learn all about how you can become a Washington state volunteer.
Looking for other ways to connect with the PNW community? You need to read these:
> 7 Insanely Useful Northwest Forest Passes For Adventures
> 101 epic things to do in the Pacific Northwest (BUCKET LIST)
> The best photography locations in Washington State
> 20 Energizing Hikes in the Pacific Northwest
12 Ways To Volunteer In Washington State (Outdoors Edition)
1. Washington State Parks
The state has a large number of Washington state parks, 124 to be exact! This is one of the easiest ways to get involved in your local communities.
With Washington State Parks and Recreation, you can participate in community events, beach cleanups, group volunteer opportunities, and can even become a park host (on campgrounds, too!).
Volunteering with Washington State Parks and Recreation is perfect for families, kids, large groups, and elderly. This is because there are many ways to get involved and you can do as much or as little as you’d like.
One of the best perks of this volunteer opportunity in Washington with Washington State Parks and Recreation is that you’ll get a FREE Discover Pass!
2. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
If you love fishing, the great outdoors, and aren’t afraid of getting a little bit messy, this opportunity is for you. Volunteer in Washington state with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife!
There are many different volunteering jobs with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The most common are re-establishing populations of various species. Species like the pygmy rabbit, working with the Spokane Trout Hatchery, and restoring habitats like the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area are all common jobs!
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to do your part in caring for the habitat of our beautiful state!
3. Washington Department of Natural Resources
Are you part of a large group or are simply interested in volunteering on your own? The Washington Department of Natural Resources is a great organization to begin your volunteer journey in Washington state!
One of the perks of volunteering with the Washington Department of Natural Resources? You get a FREE Discover Pass for your efforts!
Check out the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ event calendar to get involved.
4. Washington Trails Association
One of the best volunteer opportunities in Washington state for including your love of hiking is getting involved with the Washington Trails Association.
With the Washington Trails Association, you can go on “volunteer vacations.” This is where you serve in the backcountry for 8 days, join a Backcountry Response Team, or volunteer for a day on a Trail Work Party.
Large groups can volunteer with the Washington Trails Association and it’s a great opportunity to get kids outside!
5. Pacific Crest Trail Association
Have you ever wanted to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail? A great way to combine your love of backpacking and caring for PNW trails is by joining the Pacific Crest Trail Association!
With the Pacific Crest Trail Association, you can expect to go on multiple-day backpacking trips for clearing trails! These trips includes using power tools (like chainsaws) and rebuilding bridges.
A lot of times working with the Pacific Crest Trail Association includes hauling tools and materiel up the mountain. This is why there are physical fitness requirements listed per project!
For those looking for a challenge and a way to serve, this is for you!
Read More: 30 Incredible Hikes in Washington State
6. US Forest Service
The US Forest Service is an organization that equips volunteers and youth with opportunities to care for the land and people alike.
What will you gain when volunteering with the US Forest Service? You’ll learn new skills while in the outdoors, maintain public lands for future generations, and meet new people!
The US Forest Service has a ton of volunteer opportunities. Specifically in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest or on the west side of Washington. This is where you can participate in a way that leans on your strengths!
Want to get involved with the US Forest Service in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest? Join programs like the Eagle Watcher Volunteer Stewardship Program, Snoqualmie Ranger District, or becoming a Mountain Steward and caring for hikers in popular trail systems, and more!
7. Wild Society
Based in western Washington, the Wild Society is a wilderness education nonprofit organization. They provide backpacking trips, after-school programs, and community events that aim to connect everyone (especially youth!) to the natural world.
With the Wild Society, you can expect to learn hands-on skills for caring for the Earth. You also to enjoy it for yourself through backpacking trips and other volunteer opportunities!
Ready to join the Wild Society? Fill out an easy online form, and you’re ready to go.
Read More: 16 Iconic waterfalls in Washington state
8. Cascade Forest Conservancy
The Cascade Forest Conservancy is a group of volunteers who care for and restore the forests, meadows, and waterways of the Cascade Mountains.
Interested in volunteering with the Cascade Forest Conservancy? Sign up for their upcoming volunteer trips for the year, which usually gets published in early March!
9. Seattle Parks and Recreation
Volunteering with Seattle Parks and Recreation is a great option for those who need to stay closer to the city. It’s also great for folks who want to make an impact in their own neighborhood.
With Seattle Parks and Recreation, you’ll have the opportunity to join different kinds of groups. You can volunteer with various types of conservancy groups, work with the trail maintenance program, keep Seattle’s parks safe by volunteering as a park inspector, getting leadership experience as a Seattle Urban Nature guide, and more!
This is a particularly great volunteer opportunity in Washington state for senior citizens. It can be done close to home in any of the 400 parks across the city. You can do as much or as little as you’re able with Seattle Parks and Recreation!
10. Green Seattle Partnership
For those looking on hands-on volunteering in Washington, check out the Green Seattle Partnership. It includes lots of tree planting, weed whacking, and pruning invasive species.
To find an event, check out Green Seattle Partnership’s event calendar and sign up–it’s just that easy!
When you attend an event, the Green Seattle Partnership has got you covered with all the training you’ll need. You just need to show up!
Read More: The Ultimate Seattle Packing List (what to wear in all seasons + free printable download!)
11. Weed Watchers
If you’re interested in environmental science and plants, consider volunteering with the Weed Watchers. It’s a group on the west side of Washington that provides you with training to identify noxious weeds and learn how to manage them in your area.
As a weed watcher, you adopt an area to watch for weeds that could be harmful to that environment. When you see them out on your walks, report the plants to the King County Noxious Weed Control Program.
Interested in getting involved? Sign up for a trail weed watcher course, Check out how you can join the Lake Weed Watcher Program to protect local lakes in Washington, and learn how to use the online reporting system to identify and report invasive plants.
12. National Park Volunteering (Olympic, Mount Rainier, North Cascades)
Become a volunteer in Washington state this year! Get involved with any of the three amazing national parks in Washington.
With the U.S. National Parks Service, you can do any of the following volunteer opportunities:
- Maintain or build trails and historic sites
- Conduct research to help preserve natural resources
- Monitor wildlife
- Become a campground host
- Become a park ranger and teach others in educational programs
- Work with Junior Rangers
- Produce art as an Artist-In-Residence
- Help preserve cultural resources
- And more!
Being a volunteer in Washington’s national parks is one of the coolest things to do! You get to experience the vast beauty of Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and North Cascades National Park, all from a new perspective.