Individual Volunteer Opportunities

a grassroots mindset 

The history of the Conservancy is intrinsically linked to the recent history of volunteerism in Riverside Park. Since the 1980s, when local grassroots volunteers took on providing an added level of care for their neighborhood park, volunteers have been central to our mission and continue to make Riverside Park a place of beauty, community, and successful environmental stewardship.  

Grassroots Volunteers of all ages provide their time and skill to the many landscaped gardens, lawns, and pathways throughout the Park and serve as ambassadors, sharing our mission with the public.  

Check out our events calendar to learn about upcoming drop-in volunteer opportunities or continue reading to learn how to make a long-term impact!   

For any questions, please contact [email protected].

About the Grassroots Volunteer Program 

The Conservancy’s work encompasses seven primary areas: 

  • We train, guide, and equip members of an extensive Grassroots Volunteer Program. 
  • We engage with neighborhood groups to organize and make improvements to specific park areas. 
  • We raise private support for park maintenance, safety, and enhancement. 
  • We advocate with public officials to secure funding for renewal and restoration projects. 
  • We offer environmental education experiences for schoolchildren and families. 
  • We communicate with local residents about park issues, needs, and activities. 
  •  We sponsor events in the park and encourage its use.

Our Grassroots Volunteer Program is at the heart of the organization’s mission to restore, maintain, and improve the park through community involvement. As part of our program, individuals of all skill levels and availability can make significant contributions to improving Riverside Park’s overall horticultural care, dog runs, playgrounds, and athletic fields. 

We have a variety of levels at which volunteers can engage with the Park.  

Park User Groups: Individual volunteers can also assist with the various volunteer User Groups in the park, such as the dog runs, playgrounds, and athletic fields.  Click here to learn more.

PlacePartner: Work as part of a pre-existing group or with a ParkTender who tends a specific area. PlacePartners volunteer at least monthly during the growing season, either individually or as part of an area-wide volunteer day. Volunteering as a PlacePartner provides a good deal of flexibility while still offering the opportunity to make an ongoing contribution in a particular area of the park.   

ParkTender: Make a long-term commitment to care regularly for an assigned area of the park. ParkTenders write a plan describing the work they are interested in doing and carry out the plan after it is approved by RPC. This is a larger commitment and requires a broad understanding of horticulture as well as NYC Parks’ policies. ParkTenders work independently and have at least two years of gardening experience.  

For next steps, attend an upcoming volunteer orientation

Grassroots Volunteer Orientations 

Our volunteer orientations are held at the Peter Jay Sharp Volunteer House in Riverside Park near the 108th Street entrance.

To learn more and sign up for a future volunteer orientation, please fill out the interest form below or email [email protected].

Dates of upcoming volunteer orientations:

  • Tuesday, July 23 at 5:30-7:00pm
  • Tuesday, August 6 at 5:30-7:00pm

I Want To Be An Ongoing Volunteer

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