Park and Recreation


Community Parks & Recreation Centers

Contact: Department Volunteer Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (619) 533-4017

Fax: (619) 525-8224

Hours: Vary; weekday afternoons or evenings; weekends.

every 3 months).


Habitat Restoration Volunteers

Work with park ranger staff in removal of non-native plants, transplanting natives, and fencing of sensitive areas.

Qualifications: 16 years or older; good physical condition; able to perform strenuous physical tasks; enjoys working as a team.

Time Commitment: 4 hours/day; mostly weekends, available to large groups.


Interpretive Volunteer Tour

Guide works with Park Ranger staff, volunteers, and gardeners in learning the rich history and horticulture of Balboa Park. Off shoot tour guides provide interpretive guided tours of the park's history and horticulture every Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Qualifications: 18 years or older; knowledge of the basics of interpretation; good verbal and written communication skills; able to work independently.

Time Commitment: one year commitment.


Trail Crew

Work with park ranger staff in building and maintaining trails and installing fencing, signage, water bars, and steps.

Qualifications: 18 years or older; good physical condition; able to perform strenuous tasks; enjoys working in a team.

Time Commitment: 1 day/month; 4 hours/day; mostly weekends.


Visitor Center Assistant Librarian

Assist in the organization and cataloging of library reference material; assist public with research; help with book sales and with promotion of library in community.

Qualifications: 16 years or older; enjoys working with public and assisting people; is familiar with library organization and research.

Time Commitment: 8+ hours/month; 12 months.


Visitor Center Volunteer

Assist park ranger staff in providing information to visitors and operating center, including answering phones; running audio visual system; operating gift shop; assisting groups in center.

Qualifications: 16 years or older in Visitor Center, 18 years or older in Gift Shop; enjoys working with public; interest in natural and/or cultural resources of region; interest in educating public on park purposes.

Time Commitment: 8+ hours/month; 12 months.


Volunteer Park Patrol

Assist park rangers in informing public about park rules and regulations; assist with nature programs; provide public assistance (first aid, CPR); etc. Patrol parks on foot, or on bicycle or horseback (must provide own).

Qualifications: 18 years or older; good physical condition; possess or obtain valid Red Cross First Aid and CPR certificate; good public relations skills.

Time Commitment: Varies; contact individual parks; generally 8 hours/month; 12+months.

Contact the Park Ranger:

Balboa Park/Florida Canyon: (619) 235-1123

Black Mtn/Crest Canyon/San Pasqual Valley: (858) 538-8082

Canyons and Parkland Program: (619) 235-5262

Kumeyaay Campground: (619) 668-2748

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve: (858) 538-8066

Mission Bay Park: (858) 581-7602

Mission Trails Regional Park: (619) 668-3276; (619) 668-3278

Mission Valley Preserve/Tecolote Nature Center: (858) 581-9961

Otay Valley Regional Park: (619) 235-5262

Presidio Park: (619) 235-5935

Shoreline Parks: (619) 235-5932

Tri-Canyon Parks (Tecolote Canyon/Rose Canyon/Marian Bear Memorial Park/Mission Valley Preserve): (858) 581-9952; (858) 581-9961

Locations: Vary

Hours: Weekdays or weekends

Minimum Age: 18 years or older, or younger with adult supervision

Court Referrals: Tri-Canyon Parks/Mission Valley Preserve and the Tecolote Nature Center (858) 581-9961

Canyons and Parkland Program: (619) 235-5262


Group Volunteer Opportunities:
Nature Lovers

If your group is interested in volunteering at a Park or Preserve please Contact the Park Ranger at the locations listed above.

Beach Combers

If your group is interested in volunteering for a Beach Clean-Up please contact staff at (619) 235-5929.


Senior Citizen Services

Contact: (619) 236-6905

Locations: 202 C Street, 1st floor, San Diego, CA 92101

Minimum Age: 18 years or older; Court Referrals: No


Individual Volunteer Opportunities:
Senior Services Office Assistant

Assist Senior Services staff with various office functions, including information and referral, answering phones, assisting public at counter, updating lists.

Qualifications: Excellent public relations skills, ability to work as part of a team.

Time Commitment: 1x per week (4 hour shift). Office is open M-F, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.


Senior Services Dance Assistant

Greet event participants, assist with event set-up and clean-up (decorating, kitchen assistance) and serve refreshments.

Qualifications: Must be friendly and courteous, ability to work as part of a team.

Time Commitment: 1-2x per month. Dances are held in Balboa Park on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, volunteers are needed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Senior Services Balboa Park Lounge Assistant

Greet guests, share Lounge resources, assist with setting-up and cleaning Senior Lounge.

Qualifications: Must be friendly and courteous, ability to work as part of a team.

Time Commitment: 1x per week (4 hour shift). Senior Lounge is open 7 days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Therapeutic Recreation Services

Contact: Volunteer Coordinator, (619) 525-8247

Location: War Memorial Building, 3325 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Minimum Age: 13 years or older; Court Referrals: Yes (conditional)


Individual Volunteer Opportunities:

Therapeutic Recreation Services Activities Assistant - Assist Therapeutic Recreation Services staff in conducting successful recreational experiences for persons with disabilities, including program set-up and hands-on assistance.

Qualifications: 13 years or older; Enjoys working with people; able to interact with persons with various disabilities and special needs; patient and understanding; able to work as part of a team.

Time Commitment: 2 programs/month; 2-6 hours/program.


Group Volunteer Opportunities include:
Special Projects/Special Event Group Volunteers

Assist with Therapeutic Recreation Services special projects and special events. Note: Groups must provide own supervision; groups of children must have adult supervision.

Time Commitment: Discretion of group.


Volunteer Office

Contact: Department Volunteer Coordinator, (619) 533-4017;

Location: 2130 Pan American Way, San Diego, CA 92101

Minimum Age: 13 years or older; Court Referrals: No


Special Event Assistant

Assist staff with special projects, organization of training materials, creating and formatting documents, creating PowerPoint presentations and conducting administrative/office duties including copying, filing, and faxing. Assist with special event/program budget tracking, volunteer application processing/ referrals, and volunteer recruitment fairs.

Qualifications: 13 years or older; Computer skills: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, database development (Access) and internet search knowledge. Ability to follow directions, perform detailed work accurately, work as a team and independently; possess excellent interpersonal and organizational skills; be creative and dependable.

Time Commitment: 1-3 days/week; 2-4 hours/day for 3-6 months. Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

-->