Ways To Give Back In Roanoke

Are you looking for a rewarding and fun way to give back to your community? We are always looking for volunteers to help! Here is a list of ways that you can help out:


Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s Outdoor Recreation division regularly hosts volunteer trail work days throughout the city. Trail work days typically take place on the trails in Mill Mountain Park or at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve. Participants must be over the age of 18 or 14+ if accompanied by an adult. All you need are sturdy shoes, water, work gloves and energy!

What you will do:

  • Help construct new trail networks in Roanoke
  • Maintain, reinforce or improve exisiting trails
  • Learn basic trail maintenance techniques and skills


For more information about Roanoke Parks and Recreation volunteer trail maintenance work days, please contact Renee Powers, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor for Trails and Trail Programming at renee.powers@roanokeva.gov or 540-853-2236.

Looking for more organizations that host trail work days? Read our blog to discover “Four Volunteer Trail Maintenance Opportunities in Roanoke

Coach a Youth Sports Team

Coaching a youth sports team is a rewarding way to give back to our community and inspire our youth. Each season, we look for coaches to lead Basketball, Indoor Soccer, Outdoor Soccer, Flag Football and Softball teams. To apply, please contact Samantha Dickenson, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Athletics Coordinator at 540-853-2236 or samantha.dickenson@roanokeva.gov.

Adopt a Park

Did you know that any local community organization, business or individual over the age of 18 is eligible to adopt a park, plaza, Greenway or trail? All you need to do is commit to organizing four park clean-ups per year for a minimum of two years. Roanoke Parks and Recreation can provide your team with trash bags and safety vests to borrow, and even help your team haul away trash bags if given notice in advance.

Terms and Guidelines

Train to Become a Roanoke Tree Steward

Roanoke Tree Stewards Training

Unlike other cities its size, Roanoke has over 13,146 acres of tree canopy that covers more than 48 percent of the city’s limits. Home to more than 158 different types of trees, Roanoke’s urban forests are diverse and vast. To help protect the local tree ecosystem, Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry division offers volunteer Tree Stewards training each year.

Tree Stewards help care for young trees on city-owned property. The 26-hour training begins with nine classes held on Monday nights. Once the in-class training is complete, volunteers join three field sessions held on Saturday mornings during the spring. The in-field training focuses on tree planting, pruning and tree identification. Once qualified, Roanoke Tree Stewards complete a minimum of 30 hours of work during their first year and 20 hours in subsequent years. Volunteers may also give educational presentations to adults and children.

Volunteer Photography

Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s marketing team is always looking for the help of budding local photographers to help capture the beauty of Roanoke’s parks, greenways, plazas and recreational programs all year round.

For more information, please contact Whitney Slightham, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, at 540-853-5847 or whitney.slightham@roanokeva.gov.

Eagle Scout Service Projects

Every once a while, local Eagle Scouts reach out to our department’s Park and Greenway Planning division to help build trails, install equipment or build features that will benefit the community.

If you have a Roanoke Eagle Scout Service Project in mind, please contact Matt Gart at 540-853-2236 or matthew.gart@roanokeva.gov.

Volunteer Wildflower Gardener

Do you have a green thumb? Roanoke Parks and Recreation is always looking for volunteers to help maintain the wildlife gardens around the Mill Mountain Discovery Center. Typical volunteer work includes pruning, planting new native plants, mulching, pulling weeds and more. All levels of experience are welcome.

If you’re interested, please contact Patrick Boas at 540-853-2236 or patrick.boas@roanokeva.gov.

Roanoke GO Outside Festival

Since 2011, Roanoke Parks and Recreation has hosted, organized and funded GO Fest in partnership with the Roanoke Outside Foundation. The Anthem GO Outside Festival (GO Fest) is a free three-day festival that celebrates outdoor recreation. Taking place in October each year, the festival offers more than 150 free, fun activities, big live music performances, professional athlete demonstrations, races, giveaways and more! In 2016, Roanoke GO Fest attracted 30,000 people from 39 states.

Want to help at GO Fest?

As a volunteer, you will help set up and break down the event, help attendees find activities, pour beer, sell beer tickets, be part of the GO Fest recycling Green Team or assist vendors.

Have a question about volunteering? Contact Kat Andrew, Roanoke Parks and Recreation Outdoor Recreation Supervisor and GO Fest Volunteer Coordinator at 540-853-2236 or katherine.andrew@roanokeva.gov.