Each year, Urbana Park District volunteers record thousands of hours leading programs and helping out in district parks and facilities.

Urbana Park District volunteers make it possible to provide the level of service we do by helping staff maximize the number of residents we can serve through recreation programs and by ensuring high-quality parks through stewardship efforts.

Community Program and Engagement Coordinator, Jacob Johnston, can help you find a volunteer opportunity that matches your skills and schedule. Call 217-367-1544 (ext. 311) or email jrjohnston@urbanaparks.org.

Complete A Volunteer Application

Fill out this volunteer application and consent for criminal background check to get started. Email completed application to jrjohnston@urbanaparks.org.

Current and Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities


FRESH Teen Hangout Zone 3v3 Basketball Tournament— May 10th

Our second annual middle school and high school basketball tournament is gearing up to be just as exciting as last year. Join us in ensuring these athletes have a safe, fun evening of great food and basketball!

Responsibilities: We are looking for volunteers willing to setup and teardown the event, help run games, serve food, and help us capture the event through photography! Free food and event t-shirts will be provided.

Time Commitment: 3pm to 8pm (may be split into two shifts)

Getting Involved: To claim a position or for any questions, please contact Kern McCalla at 217-367-1544 or kkmccalla@urbanaparks.org


PostMark Urbana— Select Saturdays May 4th through August 10th

40 North and Urbana Arts & Culture Program are delivering good times at PostMark Urbana! Enjoy live music and children’s activities at each month’s main hub location where you can also pick up your map of participating downtown businesses offering food specials, art displays, and much more! These free monthly events are a post-market showcase of Urbana art, food, and fun!

Responsibilities: We are looking for volunteers to assist in crafts, oversee our sensory area, and distribute refreshments.

Time Commitment: 11am to 4:15pm

Summer Schedule:

            May 4th, Busey Bank parking lot

            July 13th, Busey Bank parking lot

            August 10th, Busey Bank parking lot

Getting Involved: To claim a position or for any questions, please contact Kern McCalla at 217-367-1544 or kkmccalla@urbanaparks.org


Play Days in the Park— Select Thursdays June 6th through August 29th

Help the Urbana Park District bring the fun directly to our neighborhoods by volunteering at Play Days in the Park! These events are filled with activities, sports, laughter, new friends, free produce, bike repairs, and more!

Responsibilities: We are looking for community focused volunteers to assist with yard games, sports, monitoring our sensory area, and/or serving refreshments.

Time Commitment: 3pm to 7:45pm

Summer Schedule:

            June 6th, Victory Park

            June 27th, Crestview Park

            July 11th, King Park

            August 8th, Blair Park

            August 29th, Ivanhoe Estates

Getting Involved: To claim a position or for any questions, please contact Kern McCalla at 217-367-1544 or kkmccalla@urbanaparks.org


6th Annual Crystal Lake Park Art Fair— August 3rd and 4th

Crystal Lake Park will be transformed with local and regional art vendors that will set up along the park road. Vendors will be selling paintings, textiles, ceramics, photography, jewelry, glass, mixed media, and much more!

Responsibilities: We are looking for volunteers that work well with all ages to assist with the creation of our community art project and hands on make and take craft projects.

Time Commitment: 10am to 4pm (may be split into two shifts) 

Getting Involved: To claim a position or for any questions, please contact Kern McCalla at 217-367-1544 or kkmccalla@urbanaparks.org


FRESH Crew Teen Volunteer Stewardship Days

*T-Shirts will be provided*

Responsibilities: Assist in invasive plant removal, planting native plants, community garden maintenance, harvesting, park clean ups and more in local areas and parks. 

Time Commitment: First Saturday of the month from 2-4pm. Please contact us for a full list of opportunities (see contact for Chelsea Prahl below).

Skills Needed: None required but this is a great opportunity for teens to get involved in the community, gain new skills, and obtain professional references.

Getting Involved: To claim the position or for any questions, contact Michael Dzianott at 217-384-4062 or email madzianott@urbanaparks.org     


SPLASH Afterschool Leader or Supervisor

*Paid positions also available*

SPLASH stands for Students Playing and Learning After School Hours. To learn more about the SPLASH program, follow this link: https://usd116.org/grantbasedprograms/.

Responsibilities: Help students develop and strengthen academic, physical, and social skills by planning and running fun programs. Assist with the development of recreational and educational programs for children.

Time Commitment: Hours may vary. Monday through Thursday between 9:30am and 3pm

Numbers Needed: 4-6

Skills Needed: An ability to work with groups of children. Will be responsible for arriving on site.

Getting Involved: To claim the position or for any questions, Contact Matthew Lewis at 217-367-1544, ext. 276 or email mvlewis@urbanaparks.org.  


Environmental Programs Volunteer

Do you love being outdoors and want to share your passion for the environment? Environmental Programs Volunteers help with school field trips, Forest School, and other public programs and special events.

Hone your natural history knowledge and leadership skills, and make a difference to thousands of children who engage in environmental education programs each year. Share the excitement of teaching while exploring Busey Woods, Weaver park, and Meadowbrook Park's Spomer Prairie.

No experience required, but applicants must pass a background check. For more information, call 217-384-4062.


UrVANa Mobile Recreation Volunteer

UrVANa is the Urbana Park District's mobile recreation unit that travels throughout the Urbana community to bring park district activities directly to our residents, free-of-cost; including but not limited to crafts, sports, music, environmental education, sensory and wellness activities. UrVANa appearances frequently take place on weekends and evenings, and require a team of volunteers and staff to help with event setup and tear-down, to engage with the general public (often children) in various recreational settings, and to represent the District's "You Belong Here" values through actions and conversations.

Please contact Jameel Jones at 217-367-1544 or email jtjones@urbanaparks.org with any questions or interest in the role.

Note: Applicants must pass a background heck prior to volunteering with UrVANa.


Wednesday Workdays

During these two-hour sessions you might plant trees or flowers, collect or scatter seed, remove nuisance plants, maintain trails, and pick up trash as needed.

  • January - February: 10am-noon
  • March - April: 9-11am
  • Location: Various park district natural areas; locations are announced weekly. Email Matt Balk at mjbalk@urbanaparks.org to join the email list for weekly location announcements.


Become a Natural Areas Site Steward

Want to help nature and the environment but don't know how? Email Matt Balk at mjbalk@urbanaparks.org with your favorite Urbana Park District natural area, and we can match you with a project. Year-round opportunities are available, from nature observer to nuisance plant remover. No experience necessary.


Trailcam Footage Volunteer

Responsibilities: Under the supervision of the full-time nature center staff, the Trailcam Footage Volunteer assists with the collecting, viewing, and sorting of footage collected from the Habitat Garden’s trail camera. This position is based at the Anita Purves Nature Center. Minimum age requirement: 17 years.

Time Commitment: Minimum 4 hours per month, up to 20 hours per week. Monday-Friday between 8am-5pm or Saturdays between 9am-4pm.

           Numbers Needed: 2-3

Skills Needed: Knowledge of or willingness to learn how to transfer, view, & rename MP4 video files. Knowledge of or willingness to learn native wildlife identification. All equipment is supplied.

Getting Involved: To apply, email a completed UPD volunteer application including background check to jrjohnston@urbanaparks.org Contact Nicole Hilberg with any questions at 217-384-4062, ext. 355 or email nahilberg@urbanaparks.org.


Scout Projects

Contact Jacob Johnston at 217-367-1544 (ext. 311) or jrjohnston@urbanaparks.org if you're looking to complete a project. There are a number of projects on the Urbana Park District's "wish list" for the Friendship Grove Nature Playscape, including:

  • Construction of a stage / fort frame
  • Construction of a "mud kitchen" with pretend oven/stove
  • Construction of storage boxes/bins
  • Sourcing and/or cutting "loose parts" items (such as nuts, sticks, logs, or wooden blocks)