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Become a Volunteer

Support Your San Diego River and the River Park!



No matter your ability level, we have volunteer opoortunities for nearly anyone who is interested in making a meangful difference. Our volunteers play a very important role in advancing the River Park and caring for the River system. There are individual and group projects available for river clean-ups, gardening, preserve managements, education programs, water quality monitoring, committees, office work and more!

 

Volunteer & Event Calendar

Looking for a particular project or date? Click here to see calendar.

 

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in a more long-term volunteer opportunity?

 

For more information about signing up, email volunteer@sandiegoriver.org or call (619) 297-7380.

 

  • Internships: We offer a range of internships through our programs, primarily for college students. Learn more about open internship positions.
  • River Rescue Team: If you're looking for camaraderie and hard work, join the fun team of River Rescuers with activities most Wednesday mornings.
  • River clean-up leader: The Clean and Green Team leaders are trained to lead groups of up to 20 volunteers to remove identified trash sites during ~monthly Saturday morning river clean-ups.
  • River Assessment Field Team: The Assessment Team volunteers walk to help complete weekly surveys of the San Diego River.  Along with a staff person or experienced guide, volunteers will help scout for trash and other issues, mark the locations on maps for future actions.
  • Water quality monitoring team: Learn to use water quality monitoring technology at monthly events with our RiverWatch team.
  • Education docent: Engage with youth and the community at ~monthly events through our Cool River education program.
  • Park Watch: A great opportunity if you already enjoy walking the River Trail! Park Watch volunteers are needed for weekly monitoring of segments from the estuary to Santee. There are also opportunities in Mision Valley and Mission Bay/Estuary.
  • Special event planning: Work with staff and volunteer committee to plan our Anniversary Celebration in September or River Days in May!
  • Front-desk receptionist: Be a part of our dynamic office by volunteering for a weekly 3-hour shift. Help with answering phones, emails, greeting guests and other administrative duties.
  • Video production: Create short simple videos for social media, or longer videos for fundraising and outreach.
  • Restoration project leader: Work with staff to lead small groups of volunteers in trailwork, planting, surveying, or other restoration activities on weekdays and weekends. Most work parties are ~3 hours.
  • Trail Team – If you enjoy working out on trails at one of our Preserves, then consider joining the Trail TeamHeadwaters. The current focus is enhancing trails at Eagle Peak Ranch and the South Rim area. We can provide the tools and supplies.
  • Remote Camera Team - this crew will help care for our remote wildlife cameras. This requires some hiking (generally off-trail). You will help download images, change batteries, care for solar panels and equipment and help move cameras as needed.
  • Headwaters Trail Planning Group - If you are interested in being part of a group to advance specific segments of Trails for the San Diego River Trail and associated connections, this might be for you. No experience needed, but this does require more time. Meeting may be held near Julian or at the SDRPF office.
  • Administrative Work - If you are good at organizing and helping to keep an office running smoothly, consider becoming an Office volunteer. You will work closely with the CEO and the Associate Director. This requires at least 3 hours per week, but it could be more if interest.

 

  • Do you have another special skill or passion for the River?

    Call us at (619) 297-7380! We'd love to work with you.

 

Volunteer Leadership Training

If you are looking to grow your leadership skills or would like to lead other volunteers at our events, we invite you complete our volunteer leadership training. Offered several times a year, this program will give you the skills and knowledge to lead and inspire volunteers and arm you with talking points to raise awareness about The San Diego River Park Foundation.


For more information, or to learn about this year's training schedule, please contact Ally or call (619) 297-7380.

 

Hepatitis A Outbreak and the River

We have received many questions about how the 2017 Hepatitis A outbreak in our region impacted our volunteer programs. As of the beginning of 2018, the County of San Diego has now ended the local health emergency. In addition, the San Diego River Park Foundation has implemented new hand hygiene, risk avoidance and sanitation procedures to protect our volunteers. Therefore, our clean-up programs have resumed large community volunteer events in 2018 following the end of the emergency. While these clean-ups will focus on litter from sources other than homeless encampments, we recommend all volunteers consult with their doctor about receiving a vaccination to further protect them from Hepatits A prior to participating in a clean-up event.

 

Volunteers engaged in activities other than clean-ups, such as gardening, trail projects, coastal or headwaters restoration, education activities and the like will work in areas not significantly impacted by encampments. SDRPF has enacted some of the same procedures for volunteer protection, but we have been advised that these activities present significantly less risk than clean-up of abandoned encampments and the associated debris.

 

Our response during the outbreak:

The majority of people who have contracted hepatitis A during this outbreak have been homeless and/or illicit drug users. The County of San Diego advised caution and vaccinations for individuals interacting with these individuals or their environments. Therefore, the San Diego River Park Foundation decided to err on the side of caution and cancel large community clean-ups that may occur in areas near homeless encampments. Specially trained teams of volunteers who have received Hep A vaccinations continued clean-up efforts throughout the end of 2017, with additional training procedures about hand hygiene and risk avoidance. Clean-up tools and materials were thrown away or sterilized. As of Jan. 23, 2018, the County of San Diego has ended the local health emergency, and will continue efforts it has taken to control the spread of the disease. You can learn more at the County's website.

 

 

THE POWER OF VOLUNTEERS

Last year, River Park Foundation volunteers made a difference for the River!

 

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pounds of trash removed

 

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hours of service coordinated

 

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volunteer events hosted

 

VOLUNTEER TODAY!

 

 

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