Volunteer Opportunities

Ongoing Volunteer Programs

Special Olympics 

Volunteer with Special Olympics through Columbia Parks & Recreation!  Volunteers are needed to assist with the following positions:

Basketball on Mondays & Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. at New Haven Elementary, 3301 New Haven Rd, through Monday, March 4, 2019

Swimming on Sundays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Hickman Pool, 1104 N. Providence Road, starting Sunday, February 10 through May 19

Volleyball on Wednesdays, 6-7 p.m. at the Armory Sports Center, 701 E Ash St starting Wednesday April 3 through May 22.

Track & Field on Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at West Middle School, 401 Clinkscales Rd starting Thursday, April 4 through May 19.   


Get started by contacting Jessica Sida. Commitment to the entire season is required for most sports. A Class A Application on file is required for all Special Olympics volunteers. 

The Stonegrinder 7K

Saturday, February 16 starting at Capen Park, 1600 Capen Park Drive. Volunteers are needed to assist with registration, aid station support, course support/direction, and finish line/post race support. This volunteer opportunity is filled. Thank you!

CARP (Columbia Aquatic Restoration Project)

Wednesday, February 20 & Thursday, February 21, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Classes will be held at Parks Management Center, 1507 Business Loop 70 W. Participants should plan to attend both nights and share 18 hours of service on projects held in our parks on weekend mornings.

Respite Care Event for Foster Families

Friday, February 22, 5:00-9:00 p.m. Volunteers will interact and supervise kids. Dinner is served at 6pm, then kids swim in the arc pool (bring swimsuit), then watch a movie or do a gym activity the last hour of the program. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and may be subject to a background screening. ARC-1701 W. Ash.

Adopt-a-Trail Training

Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Volunteers are asked to care for a quarter mile section of trail to remove invasive species and litter and work to establish new plants. 

Park Pacers Group Lead 

Thursdays, March 7-May 16, 6:00-7:00 p.m.  Volunteers are asked to  motivate members of our community to become more active by meeting walkers for a few laps around the park or neighborhood. Must be 18+. Self schedule or contact Jay Bradley for more information. 

March 7, 14, 21-Indian Hills Park; 5009 Aztec Blvd.

April 4, 11, 18-Douglass Park Trail; 204 E Ash St.

May 2, 9, 16-Auburn Hills Park; 5101 Derby Ridge Dr.

TreeKeepers Academy

Saturday, March 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Parks Management Center.  At Treekeepers Academy volunteers will learn about tree identification, pruning and planting and commit sharing 36 hours of service assisting on tree projects in our parks on Saturday mornings. Lunch will be provided!

Respite Care Event for Foster Families

Friday, March 15, 5:00-9:00 p.m. Volunteers will interact and supervise kids. Dinner is served at 6pm, then kids swim in the arc pool (bring swimsuit), then watch a movie or do a gym activity the last hour of the program. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and may be subject to a background screening. ARC-1701 W. Ash.

Cooking Matters Class 

This class will begin on March 13 and will be held on Wednesday nights from 5:30-7:30 until April 17. You will be helping to implement the “A Dozen Way to Be Healthy” program with children ages 2-5. this program will focus on helping kids learn healthy eating habits, participate in food demonstrations and participate in crafts/physical activity, while their parents participate in the Cooking Matters class. Please commit to at least 3 classes. All classes will be held at Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services. Contact Laura McCullough for more information. 

Blue Thunder Track Coach (April-July)

First practice: April 2. Season is from April-July. First practice is April 2. Normal practices are Tues, Thurs (6-7:30 p.m.) & Saturdays (10-11:30 a.m.). Approximately 3-5 hours a week. Specialty practices (hurdles, jumps, etc) days and times can vary. Meets are most often on weekends, coaches are welcome to attend, but not required. Distance coaches will have the opportunity to coach cross country in the fall if desired. Assistant Track Coaches: Distance, Mid Distance, Hurdles, Sprints, Long Jump, High Jump, Pole Vault, Throws (shot, discus, javelin) & Race Walk for Blue Thunder Track Club. All interested in the sport despite the event, please inquire. Volunteer will Coach, guide and instruct the young men and women in their continuous pursuit of getting better at their craft. Will come to practices and be a positive, encouraging, supportive role model and example to our kids and for our club. Based out of the Armory Sports Center – 701 E Ash. Corner of Ash and 7th street downtown behind the Courts Building. Practices take place at the high school tracks, early season practices are most often at Stephen’s Lake Park on the lower east side using the Broadway entrance.  For more information  contact Camren Cross and check out the Blue Thunder website!

Cleanup Columbia

Saturday, April 13. Cleanup Columbia is a city-wide trash pick up event where hundreds of local residents work together to make our city a more beautiful place. The city will provide volunteers with trash bags, gloves, safety vests (where needed) and help you find a trash pick up location. This is a wonderful event for individuals and groups of all sizes and people of all ages and abilities. There will be a thank you picnic to celebrate your efforts afterwards! Registration is now open! Visit Cleanup Columbia to learn more!

Columbia Youth Track Meet

Saturday, April 27. Hickman High School Track, 1104 N. Providence Rd. 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Volunteers are needed to assist with track meet duties, positions include; Starter, Clerk, Long Jump, Lead Timer, Timers, Picker/Sorter, Recorder, Softball Throw, Race & Field Result Sheet Runners, Announcer, Registration & Awards Table, Photographer.  Self-Schedule or contact Camren Cross for more details. 

Earth Day Celebration

Sunday, April 28. Volunteers are needed to help with kids recycling games and activities and act as Waste Monitors directing citizens to proper bins for composting, recycling and trash. Shifts are available from 11:45pm-2:00pm, 1:45pm-4:00pm, and 3:45pm-6:00pm. Contact Jody Cook at for more information.  

Family Fun Fest (Kindness Carnival): 

Wednesday, May 15, . Volunteers assist with set up, tear down, and facilitate games and activities designed for children. Self schedule or contact Cassie Brandt for more information. 

Household Hazardous Waste Collection: 

Volunteers are needed to assist with traffic and direction and paint consolidation. Shifts are available 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Household Hazardous Waste is located at 1313 Lakeview. This is an ongoing opportunity the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month April through November. Self schedule or contact Jody Cook for more information. 

 Household Hazardous Waste Schedule

  • April 6
  • April 20
  • May 4
  • May 18
  • June 1
  • June 15
  • July 6
  • July 20
  • August 3
  • August 17
  • September 7
  • September 21
  • October 5
  • October 19
  • November 2
  • November 16


Park and ECO Cleanups  

Volunteers are instrumental to keeping Columbia’s streets, parks and streams clean. There are multiple opportunities for individuals and groups to help. Self schedulefor any of the following, or contact Jody Cook or call 573-874-6271 for more information.  These litter events are leader lead with gloves, bags and safety vests provided. Drop in are welcome!      

Date Time Volunteer Check-In
Mar. 9 7:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Capen Park
April 13 Cleanup Columbia City Wide
May 11 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Big Bear Ct
June  8 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. MLK Gardens
July 13 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Bear Creek Nature Area

Litter Event Leaders help us engage  other volunteers in caring for our environment!   Tasks include bringing supplies (provided by the City), checking in volunteers, providing basic instructions, and helping them have a great cleanup!  

Graffiti Removal

Neighborhoods and individuals are invited to adopt public areas that are frequently tagged with graffiti.

Want to Volunteer with Columbia Parks & Recreation Community Recreation Program?  Volunteer Opportunities Available!

  • Women’s Month 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament Referee  and Scoreboard/Timer: Saturday, March 16, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. located at Armory Sports & Community Center, 701 E. Ash St. Assist with refereeing, scoring, and timing the games. Contact Jay Bradley for more information.   
  • Douglass Youth Baseball League Coaches, Umpires and Board Members: Practice begins in early May. The League begins June 3, 2019. Games will take place on Kelly Field located in Douglass Park, on the corner of Providence & Rogers. Contact Camren Cross  for more information.                           
  • MLB Pitch, Hit & Run: May 4, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.  Albert-Oakland Park located at 1900 Blue Ridge Rd. Assist in the running of Pitch, Hit & Run events by keeping time, scoring, judging, or spotting. Contact Camren Cross for more information.
  • Jr.  Home Run Derby: May 4, 2019, 12:00-2:30 p.m. Albert-Oakland Park. 1900 Blue Ridge Rd. Assist in the running of the Home Run Derby by checking participants in, keeping score, running a pitching machine, pitching to the participates, keeping control of the line, or shagging balls in the outfield. Contact Camren Cross for more information.
  • We are looking for guitar instructors!! Contact Mary Dewey to volunteer or call 573-817-5077 for more information.
  • Flag Line Instructors needed! Would like to meet on Thursday’s from 5:00-6:00 p.m. Volunteer will instruct young women in flag routines, organize routines and secure venues for performances. Contact Mary Dewey for more information. 
  • Foreign Language Instructors: Share your foreign language skills  with children and/or adults – 3 program choices available, great opportunity to change someone’s life! Contact Mary Dewey to volunteer or call 573-817-5077 for more information. This activity will continue again in the fall.  You do not have to be an expert, just willing to teach (instructional materials are provided) and confident.

Student/Internship/Service Learning projects: We have a variety of semester (or longer!) projects ideal for students including sidewalk snow removal and recycling education. Contact us to learn more!

Board & Commission Openings :There are many great ways to serve our City!  


Updated: 2/14/19