Waukesha County

Volunteer with Waukesha County Parks and Land Use 

Volunteering with Parks and Land Use is a great opportunity for individuals and groups to enjoy the outdoors while giving back to the community in various ways. Project needs vary depending on the time of year and the current projects going on within the Park System. In general, the need is for natural land management work involving basic hand tools (shovels, wheelbarrows, rakes, etc). Volunteers are also needed throughout the year for various special events held at Retzer Nature Center.

Stewardship volunteer group projects are a great way for your corporate team, church group, school or organization to give back to the Parks while enjoying a fun team building day. Group service days typically include invasive species removal, trail maintenance, a park or beach cleanup, or a park beautification project.

Keep in mind:

Dates: Spring (April/May/June) and Fall (September/October) are ideal times for volunteer projects. Six weeks notice is preferred. A minimum of two weeks notice is required.
Time: Projects are generally scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Fridays. Projects typically start at 9:00 am or 1:00 pm, and last between 1.5 - 3 hours.
Group size: Spring = Minimum 5, Maximum 50 people. Fall = Maximum of 25 people. Capacity is determined by tools, parking, staff, and general property impact. For groups over 50, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator to see what specialty projects are available.
What to expect: Prepare to get dirty and work outside for several hours. It’s always possible to encounter bugs, prickly plants and weather or temperature changes.
What to wear: Dress for the weather (long sleeves and pants are recommended) and wear clothes that are OK to get beat up, closed-toe shoes, gloves (extra will be provided), safety glasses (extra will be provided).

Park Volunteer Opportunities

Available throughout the Waukesha County Park System

Please choose your area of interest below to submit an application.          

General Park Maintenance (May - November)
Great for individuals or small groups (fewer than 5). Assist with trash clean-up, painting picnic tables, wood chipping trails, or weeding planting beds. Opportunity available Monday – Friday from 8:00AM – 3:00PM.

Invasive Species Control (May - June, September - November)
Do you love working outdoors and improving your local green spaces? Volunteers ages 18+ will get hands on experience with native plant and invasive species identification as well as experience with various control techniques. Volunteers are needed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for at least 2 hours between 8:00AM – 3:00PM.

Self-guided Garlic Mustard Removal (May - July)
This volunteer project is a self-led project (i.e., no staff present to directly supervise) in any park of your choosing and can be done according to your schedule (i.e., any day or time during our operating hours of sunrise – 10PM). You will receive a map of where to pull garlic mustard in the park(s) you select as well as an instructional training video.

Adopt-A-Trail Program
An opportunity for groups to become actively involved in maintaining and protecting the beauty of the County's recreational trail systems. Very limited availability. 

Adopt-A-Drain Program
Spend 15 minutes twice a month to help protect our lakes and rivers by cleaning the surface of storm drains twice a month and report the quantity and composition of debris removed. Adopt a storm drain in your community - get started here.

Citizen Science Programs (Year-Round)
Help gather data on wildlife species within the Park System to assist in making sure that common species remain common and that rare, threatened, and endangered species are protected. Sign up for a Citizen Science program online.

Stewardship Projects / Habitat Restoration Workdays (Year-Round)
These volunteer projects are done alongside our park staff at predetermined parks on weekends and select weekdays. Depending on the time of year the focus will be on pulling invasive weeds, cutting invasive woody brush, or tree planting! Submit your Eagle Scout or Gold Awared Leadserhip Service project request idea for approval. Project options include building park benches, building wildlife shelters, fundraising for tree plantings, boardwalk improvements, and more. Sign up for a Habitat Restoration Workday online.

Special Events (Year-Round)
From assisting with parking, sharing visitor information, and greeting guests, look at our various special events and let us know which you would like to assist with! Volunteer needs may vary per event.

Retzer Nature Center Teaching Naturalist (Year-Round)
An apprenticeship program to become a Volunteer Teacher Naturalist who can assist Education Naturalist staff with environmental education programs for school groups, scouts, and the general public. Recommended for ages 18+. Submit a Volunteer Interest Form online to get started.

Volunteer Interest Forms

Complete a Volunteer Interest Form for your Group or Eagle Scout/Gold Award project. Individuals who are interested in volunteering should select from one of the opportunities listed above.

Park Volunteers Garlic Mustard

2021 Annual Volunteer Report

The Waukesha County Park System had another exceptional year of voluneerism from businesses, organizations, families, and individuals. Check out some of our discoveries in this annual report.

Waukesha County Park System
515 W. Moreland Blvd • AC 230
Waukesha, WI 53188

Visit us in person in room AC 260
M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm (excluding Holidays) 
Contact us 

Fee-based Park Hours: Sunrise to 10 p.m. daily
Daily Park Entrance Permit Fee: $6 per car | $25 per bus

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