Group of volunteers

Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) relies on a strong volunteer base to provide programs and services to the residents and visitors of Durham. Volunteer opportunities with Durham Parks and Recreation fall into the following categories:

  • Special Events
  • Specialized Skills
  • Tutors / Mentors
  • Internships / Practicums
  • Service Projects
  • Durham Community Trail Watch

Special Events

Special events volunteers assist with any special, 1 time, or annual programs sponsored or hosted by DPR. These volunteers may help with the actual event or may serve on planning and steering committees involved with the event for which they are volunteering. Special events volunteer opportunities are great for group projects! Special events include Earth Day, Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival, Latino Fiesta & Soccer Challenge, Holiday Parade & Fun Fest, Santa Paws, Canine Field Day and Barktoberfest.

To volunteer for a DPR special event, please visit our special event registration page through ivolunteer.

Specialized Skills

These positions require the volunteer to possess a specific skill. Specialized skills positions include: coaches, referees, instructors, office assistants, and special program /inclusion mature adult program assistants.

Tutors / Mentors

Tutors/mentors will primarily work with youth in community and neighborhood centers. While as the name suggests many of these volunteers will be working as a tutor or mentor these volunteers may also help lead a club or camp through DPR. These positions may include the following: Youth Crime Watch of America leaders, 4-H Club leaders, after school and summer camp assistants, and special program /inclusion mature adult program assistant program buddies.

Internships / Practicums

Internships with Durham Parks and Recreation consist of many positions in units throughout the department. These positions may be specifically created for a special event or need within the department or may be positions that are ongoing. Internships will have an agreed upon task or tasks and duration of the position to be arranged with supervisory staff and intern. Some Internship positions include: 

  • Marketing assistant
  • After school assistant
  • Special event planner
  • Adventure programs facilitator

Service Projects

Service positions include volunteers interested in doing service and improvement projects or adopting a park or greenway. These positions are generally created as an individual or group approaches DPR with interest in doing a specific service or improvement project. Some service positions and opportunities include trail assistance, landscaping, spreading materials such as mulch and sand, and the Adopt-A-Park / Adopt-A-Trail program.

Eagle Scouts, scouting troops, faith based groups and other clubs or individuals interested in contributing a volunteer park or trail improvement project are welcome. Past landscaping improvements have included removing invasive plants, tree planting, creating flower beds and much more. Volunteers have also designed and installed structures such as kiosks, benches, boardwalks, and much more.  Any project requires pre-approval by the department.  

Click here for Park and Trail Improvement Project Application

Durham Community Trail Watch

The Durham Community Trail Watch (DCTW) group is a network of volunteers that patrol the hike and bike trails in Durham at their leisure.

Please note: Due to the nature of some of our volunteer opportunities, DPR volunteers may be required to undergo a background check.

If you are interested in volunteering with DPR or would like additional information regarding the volunteer opportunities available, email Mal Atkinson or call 919-560-4355.