Volunteering with us is a great opportunity for individuals and groups to enjoy the outdoors while giving back to the community. Project needs vary depending on the time of year and on current projects going on in 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.
Dates: Ideal times for volunteer projects are spring (April - June) and fall (September + October). Advance notice of at least six weeks is preferred. Required: at least two weeks notice.
Time: Projects are generally scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Fridays. Projects typically start at 9 am or 1 pm; each lasts between 1.5 - 3 hours.
• Spring = Five people min. | 50 people max.
• Fall = 25 people max.
For groups larger than 50 people, contact our Volunteer Coordinator (email) for options. Capacity is determined by tools, parking, staff, and general property impact.
What to expect: Prepare to get dirty and work outside for several hours. It’s always possible to encounter bugs, prickly plants, and weather / temperature changes.
What to wear: Dress for the weather (recommended: long sleeves and pants) and wear clothes that can get beat up a bit; wear closed-toe shoes, gloves (extra will be provided), safety glasses (extra will be provided).
General Park Maintenance • May - Nov
Great for individuals or small groups (four or fewer). Assist with trash clean-up, painting picnic tables, wood chipping trails, or weeding planting beds. Opportunity available Monday - Friday from 8 am - 3 pm.
Invasive Species Control • May - June || Sept - Nov
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 two hours between 8 am - 3 pm.
Self-guided Garlic Mustard Removal • May - July
Feeling independent? Volunteer on your own with no staff supervision in any park and on your own schedule (sunrise - 10 pm). We'll furnish you with a map of where to pull garlic mustard in your selected park(s) and this training video.
Maintain and protect the beauty of the County's recreational trail systems with your group. Limited availability.
Spend 15 minutes twice a month to help protect our lakes and rivers by cleaning the surface of storm drains. Then report the quantity and composition of debris removed. Get started: Adopt a storm drain in your community today!
Citizen Science programs • year-round
Help gather data on wildlife species in the Park System to help make sure that common species remain common and that rare, threatened, and endangered species are protected. Get started: Sign up today!
Eble Park Gardens • April - Oct
The Eble Park Gardens are powered by our treasured Waukesha County Parks volunteers. Whether fulfilling certification requirements or just raising the community's joy levels, you'll love digging into Florence's gardens! Get your hands dirty in the flower and herb gardens and cultivate the vegetable gardens for donations to the Food Pantry of Waukesha.
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 Award Leadership Service project request idea for approval. Project options include building park benches, building wildlife shelters, fundraising for tree plantings, boardwalk improvements, and more. Get started: Find a Habitat Restoration Workday.
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+. Get started: Submit a Volunteer Interest Form.
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.
Waukesha County Park System
515 W. Moreland Blvd • AC 230
Waukesha WI 53188 (map)