Conservancy Volunteers

Each year, the Conservancy works with approximately 2,000 volunteers to perform vital park maintenance work and ensure permanent improvements in the parks. Volunteer events are a great way to get outside, learn more about the river, have fun working with friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and help restore the centerpiece of Greater Boston’s urban park system.

Since 2002, more than 28,000 Conservancy Volunteers have contributed over $1.9 million of donated labor to improve the health, safety, and beauty of the Charles River parks. View our 2019 volunteers and partners.


After a spring suspension of volunteer events, we are excited to welcome volunteers back to the parks in August and into the fall. We are committed to providing a safe working environment, and have developed safety protocols with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. We hope you will join us for a safe and fun way to get outside and give back to the parks that have given us so much! 

Event Safety Protocols:

  • All volunteers will be required to wear a facemask.
  • All equipment, tools, and materials will be disinfected before and after use in accordance with CDC guidelines. Furthermore, participants should not share equipment, tools, or other materials. A list of tools will be provided prior to the event for participants who prefer to bring tools from home.
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer will be available for participants to use.
  • Participants must adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain at least six feet away from others.
  • Food and drinks should be brought from participants’ homes and not shared with individuals outside of one’s household.

Volunteer Projects:
We work with volunteers in the parks from Cambridge to Watertown Square. Location and projects vary based on maintenance needs, time of year, and size of group.

  • Invasive plant removal
  • Bench, fencing, and picnic table painting
  • Planting and maintaining garden beds
  • Fall bulb planting
  • Mulching
  • Raking leaves
  • Removing litter and debris

Reserve Your Day:
Volunteer days typically take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and run from either 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 1 – 4 p.m. (available on Thursday’s only). View our available 2020 dates. You may also contact Sasha Vallieres at to request additional dates and times that work best for your company or group.

To schedule a community service work day for your group or business, contact CRC Volunteer Program Manager Sasha Vallieres at Events book quickly, especially in the spring and fall, so please reach out at least one month before you would like to schedule an event.

Be Our Partner in Plastic Reduction:
The Charles River Conservancy invites you to be our partner in single-use plastic reduction. Check out our Plastic Reduction Plan for ideas on how to reduce single-use plastic at your volunteer event. Help us achieve our goal!


Sponsoring an event pays for supplies, plants, staff time, and helps keep the parklands active, attractive, and accessible for all in the community. We ask our corporate and for-profit volunteer groups to support our Conservancy Volunteers program with a tax-deductible donation to the Charles River Conservancy. View 2020 donation rates.


Our open volunteer events welcome community members to join us in vital park maintenance work. See upcoming opportunities below.

  • Kayaking Cleanup, Saturday, September 26, 9 – 11 a.m.: Ever wished you could reach a piece of trash you’ve spotted in the Charles? This event is for you! Join us at Herter Park in Allston for a kayak cleanup where volunteers will use nets to remove litter from the river. We have space for 10 participants. Thank you to our sponsors at Paddle Boston for supporting this event!
  • Saturday, October 10, 9 – 11 a.m.: Join us at Riverbend Park in Cambridge to remove litter and mulch around trees. We have space for 12 volunteers.
  • Mask on Litter Gone, October 24 – 31: We are thrilled to launch a week long initiative to clean up our local communities and ecosystems! All are invited to help remove litter from your local neighborhoods and ecosystems, while wearing masks and socially distancing of course! Learn more.
    Kickoff Event, Saturday, October 24th, 9 – 11 a.m.: We hope you’ll help us kick off the week with a cleanup event at Magazine Beach in Cambridge. Limited space available.

To participate, please register at least 3 days prior to the event by emailing Sasha at Onsite registration will not be available.

“We’ve held this event for a couple years and it’s always a highlight. Absolutely will be coming back!!” -2019 Volunteer

CRC staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they make it so easy for our volunteers to get excited and get involved! – 2019 Volunteer

“Someone was always nearby to provide guidance/ support.” -2019 Volunteer

Lead photo by Aaron John Bourque.