Back to Family

Summer adventures in Thurston County

Olympia's Park Stewardship Program kicks off June 14

Join the Park Stewardship Program and dig into 42 Olympia parks. Photo courtesy of

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

This summer, families can head south and see what goes in the Capital City outside of the rotunda and under the trees.

"I believe that fellow military families could really benefit from some of our larger recreation events," explained Christie Lamour, a military spouse and program specialist with the Park Stewardship Program of the city of Olympia's Department of Parks, Arts and Recreation. 

Those events, which are scattered throughout the summer, include a number of kids-only as well as all-ages activities and are intended to be cost-effective, educational and fun.

The Junior Ranger Adventures will occur from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 14 and Aug. 9 at Priest Point Park. Kids between the ages of 6 and 11 can come out and see three different Olympia parks while learning about the ecosystem and proper park stewardship. The morning will include a nature walk, wildlife observation, picnic and other activities. Cost is $29 per person.

Next up is the Great American Backyard Campout starting at 3 p.m. June 21 and concluding at 10 a.m. June 22. The entire family can camp for the night in Priest Point Park and experience nature while learning basic camping skills. Cost is $49 per person, but children under the age of 3 are free. Main dinner entrée and breakfast will be provided. Tents, sleeping bags, and pads can be provided upon request. 

The Kids Canopy Climb will happen on July 12 and then again Aug. 2 at Priest Point Park. This second year event allows kids to explore the treetop environment while learning about the forest habitat; certified arborists and city technical staff will guide climbers. The event, which will start at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m., is geared for children between 6-12 years old and costs $32. Space is limited and registration is required.

The Urban Backpack Trip will run from 3 p.m. July 19 until 10 a.m. July 20 at Priest Point Park. Participants older than 10 are invited to spend the night camping in the city park while learning about packing, setting up camp, responsible recreation, and outdoor cooking. Cost is $69 per person and dinner and breakfast will be provided.

In addition to its environmental education and recreation events, the Park Stewardship Program also has an extensive volunteer program. Group work parties, led by park staff, are open to all ages and offered up to three times a week throughout Olympia's 42 parks. More information on group work parties and the upcoming schedule of events can be found at

These weekly volunteer events, which are ideal for families looking to enjoy nature and also give back to the local community, Lamour stated.

Similarly, the Park Steward program allows individuals who reside near a certain park to help maintain flowerbeds, trails and clean up trash. Park Stewards must be older than 18 and commit to at least six months of volunteer service. These volunteers can work independently in the park of their choosing on activities pre-approved by Park Stewardship staff though they can report back if they need tools, maintenance materials or issues arise.

Finally, through the Adopt-a-Park program, neighborhood associations, local businesses or community groups can take responsibility for the general maintenance of a park.  Adopt-a-Park groups are asked to commit to a year of service, including one group-led work party per quarter and a work plan approved by staff. The Parks department provides materials, tools, and weed/invasive species pickup for all Adopt-a-Park work events.

To register for any of the events listed above, call 360.753.8380 or go to To learn more about volunteer opportunities, call 360.753.8365. 

comments powered by Disqus