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  • Volunteer at Parks

    The Syracuse Parks and Recreation invites you to join with us to make a difference! How do we even begin to express our gratitude for the many volunteers who devote their time and energy enhancing the quality of life in Syracuse by assisting in the maintenance of our beautiful parks and executing the countless recreation programs and events we provide. Volunteers play an essential role and, we are always happy to welcome more on board!

    • If you are looking for court-ordered community service hours, please contact Joe Kelly at 315.473.4330 ext. 3043 or by email.          

    • For tree planting events, please contact our City Arborist, Steve Harris, at 315.473.4330 ext. 3014 or email.
    • For park beautification efforts at one of our parks i.e. weeding, mulching, planting flowers etc. please contact Joe Kelly at 315.473.4330 ext. 3043 or email.
    • To volunteer at one of our special events: Big Rig Day (May), Spooktacular (October), Hay Rides in Burnet (December), and Holiday Movies at the Landmark (December and April) please contact Britney Farmer at 315.473.4330 ext. 3007 or email.  
    • For opportunities within our youth programs/community centers/leagues/summer camps, we do ask for a consistent commitment when working with our youth. We are seeking motivated, flexible, self-sufficient and dependable individuals, who will keep in mind they are acting as role-models for our youth and representing the City of Syracuse, at all times. 
      •  Summer Camp Volunteers: We accept 1 to 2  volunteer camp counselors (ages 14 to 100+) per camp for our sports camps, only (lacrosse, soccer, track & field and basketball). Volunteer applications must be submitted no earlier than April 1 and later than May 31, each year. Applications will be reviewed and individual camp directors will have strong input regarding who is accepted to volunteer for his/her camp. For additional questions please contact Anne Downes at 315.473.4330 ext. 3025 or email
      •  Basketball Coaches: Volunteer coaches teach the skills needed for the sport, but equally important, they teach and model important life skills and lessons like sportsmanship and responsibility. Our Junior A.C.T.I.O.N League runs November – January. For additional questions please contact Jesse Brantley at 315.473.4330 ext. 3035 or email.
      •  Homework Helper: We offer several after school programs at Kirk Park, Wilson Park, McChesney Park, Schiller Park and Ed Smith School, where designated time set aside for homework. We are always looking for volunteers to come and assist the participants, ages 7 to 13, with their homework needs. Often times these one-on-one sessions allow the child the undivided attention he/she may need to foster the self-confidence needed to learn and/or retain information. Homework time varies from site to site but generally takes place between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, when school is in session. For additional questions please contact Dave Serbun at 315.473.4330 ext. 3019 or email
      •  Interested in running a specific program for youth: submit your program proposal with your Volunteer Application, and be sure to include the following information: Program Name, Program Description, Program Dates, Program Time, Program Ages, Program Objectives, Program Needs/Supplies required By Parks, Ideal Program Location. For additional questions please contact Chris Abbott at 315.473.4330 ext. 3049 or email.
        The following steps must be completed prior to beginning your volunteering journey within the Syracuse Department of Parks & Recreation Youth Recreation Bureau: 
    1.  Print, complete and submit a volunteer application to our Administration Offices at 412 Spencer Street, Syracuse, NY 13204 Attention Youth Recreation Bureau – be as detailed as possible with what you would like to do. If there are locations you are not comfortable volunteering at please indicate or call upon submitting the application.
    2. Once your application is received it will be reviewed and passed along to the appropriate designee. If there are volunteer opportunities are available, someone will contact you.
    3. Once contacted you will need to complete an online background screening (parents/guardians will need to be present for minor applicants). You will not be allowed to start volunteering until you have been given a green light. The process could take 2 to 4 weeks.
    4. Once a green light has been given, you will need to complete the concussion training video, print and bring certificate to a volunteer orientation to review the volunteer manual.
    5. Upon receiving your volunteer placement you will be responsible to log all hours on assigned Volunteer Sign-In Form. Director of the building or program will be responsible for storing all forms. See example
    6. Certain roles may require additional training.    


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412 Spencer Street
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