VOLUNTEERS

RIPA seeks to foster volunteer projects and increase local stewardship. We are working to build a coalition of local community-based organizations, schools, corporations, advocacy groups and relevant government agencies in order toresponsibly care for and preserve Randall’s Island Park.

Each year, thousands of volunteers enjoy restoration and beautification projects on Randall’s Island. With a large area to maintain and many free public programs to facilitate, RIPA truly relies on the generosity of these volunteers. You can make a difference!

Please note: Volunteer opportunities for individuals are not available at this time.

RIPA earned an “Outstanding Project Management” award from Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks for our volunteer projects!

How do I volunteer?

Corporate Groups

Employees from many corporations each year come to the Park to care for the Island’s green space. Corporate volunteer events are a wonderful way to build team spirit and to invigorate staff through time out in the open air! RIPA’s dedicated and experience staff will efficiently manage your corporate volunteer project to ensure a rewarding day.

Community Groups, Schools and Non-Profit Registration

To register your group please complete the volunteer registration form; a member of our Public Programs team will follow up shortly about volunteer opportunities at Randall’s Island Park. For more information, please contact RIPA Public Programs Manager Ellen McCarthy.

Service Learning

RIPA hosts school groups and community-based organizations for service learning events, as a component of our Urban Farm and Waterfront Stewardship programs – and as part of our new Park-as-Lab (PAL) focus. These events combine community service with an educational component to create a positive and beneficial context for the volunteer project; students leave both with knowledge and a sense of accomplishment through having given back to their community.

Summer Internships

RIPA offers internships through the NYC Parks Departments Summer Internship Program. These internships vary and opportunities are available with our Natural Areas, Horticulture, Urban Farm, Programming, Planning, Development, and Administrative teams.

What do volunteers do?

Natural Areas

In 2008, RIPA successfully restored over nine acres of salt marsh and freshwater wetland. Wetlands are a valuable ecological resource because they improve water quality, provide flood control and coastal protection during storm events, and provide habitat for local and migratory birds, fish, insects, and bivalves. In addition to these wetlands, Randall’s Island also comprises nearly five miles of shoreline. Both the wetlands and shorelines require thousands of hours of maintenance and upkeep each year. In order to keep these waterfront areas properly maintained, the Natural Areas Crew relies on the assistance of friends and fans of the Park. As a volunteer, you will weed the wetlands of invasive plant species, plant native trees, shrubs and grasses, rehabilitate wetland pathways through mulching, or comb the wetlands and shoreline for trash and debris. We have clean up days in the spring and fall; please visit the event page for information.

Horticulture

Randall’s Island Park is home to dozens of unique gardens, green streets, and lawns. These gardens provide Park visitors a quiet and tranquil space while providing habitat for insects and birds. As a volunteer with the Horticulture Crew, you will have the chance to plant bulbs along the many lawns, weed beautifully landscaped gardens or plant street trees around our ball fields that will provide shade to grateful athletes. Your work in the gardens will be enjoyed and appreciated by Park visitors for years to come.

Randall’s Island Festivals

The Randall’s Island Park Alliance hosts a number of large free public festivals each year, including the Cherry Blossom Festival, Waterfront Festival, Get Hooked Fishing Festival, and Harvest Festival. These fabulous events draw large crowds – our many friendly, skilled volunteers help ensure that participants leave with new insights and smiles on their faces. We work with New York Cares to staff these events with amazing volunteers. Please visit the New York Cares website for information on how to become a volunteer.

Volunteer Resources

Things to keep in mind: 

  • Each volunteer is required to sign RIPA’s Volunteer Waiver.
  • Water will be provided for all volunteer events.
  • All necessary tools and equipment will be provided for volunteers.
  • Wear weather-appropriate clothing you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • Long pants are recommended.
  • Closed-toed shoes are required.
  • Projects happen RAIN OR SHINE, barring unsafe conditions.