Best Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities For Families In Washington DC

July 19, 2013 8:00 AM

Volunteering is a great summertime pastime for families in DC. There’s nothing quite like the reward of feeling like you’ve contributed to the greater good that comes from a long hard day of outdoor volunteering. Many nonprofits throughout the District offer safe, exciting and fun ways for families to get together and help beautify their neighborhoods or benefit their communities in some way. Many outdoor volunteer projects for families in the area also expose children to the natural beauty of the greater Washington, DC area. These nonprofit organizations are actively seeking family volunteer groups to help them accomplish their good works this summer.

Anacostia Watershed Society
The George Washington House
4302 Baltimore Ave.
Bladensburg, MD 20710
(301) 699-6204

The Anacostia Watershed Society is committed to preserving and protecting the Anacostia River and surrounding areas. With the slogan “Clean the water, recover the shores, honor the heritage,” the nonprofit is dedicated to restoring the Anacostia region to its former glory. Volunteers are always welcome to sign up for river and community clean-ups and plant restoration projects. Volunteers and family groups are encouraged to check out the online calendar to directly sign up for upcoming projects.

Neighboring Now: MBT Trail Clean-Up & Beautification
HandsOn Greater DC Cares
1380 Monroe St. N.W.,Suite 410
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 777-4448

Beginning in May, the nonprofit Greater DC Cares is partnering with DC residents of the northwest/northeast border to clean up the beautiful Metropolitan Branch Trail. The trail follows New York Avenue and Florida Avenue and is a choice spot for avid bicyclists and summertime activities. Greater DC Cares’ trail beautification project also encourages connecting with fellow neighbors and residents. Children ages six and up are welcome to volunteer with their parents or guardians.

Safe Haven Summer Camp
M.O.M.I.E.’s T.L.C.
Brightwood Park United Methodist Church
744 Jefferson St. N.W.
(202) 545-1919

The Mentors of Minorities in Education’s Total Learning Cis-tem (M.O.M.I.E.’s T.L.C.) provides a nurturing, recreational and educational environment for participating children in Ward 4 of the District. M.O.M.I.E.’s T.L.C. is a dynamic and unique program with a mission to enhance the educational opportunities of underprivileged children in DC. The summer camp program encourages thoughtful interaction with cultural history through the exploration of profound historical figures with the “Great Persons Series.” Parents of campers are encouraged to volunteer to enhance the holistic family-oriented philosophy of the nonprofit.

Related: Best Places to Volunteer With Your Kids in DC

The U.S. National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 245-4563

The U.S. National Arboretum seeks active outdoor volunteers each year to help maintain the grounds, research and conservation commitments of the organization. Volunteer groups of various sizes are welcome to contact the Volunteer Office to sign up for garden maintenance projects. Families may volunteer as a group for such gardening responsibilities as removing invasive species of plants, removing weed growth, laying down mulch and picking up litter. The National Arboretum is a beautiful location for outdoor volunteering with plenty of natural shade provided by the thousands of trees in the nonprofit’s care.

Planter for a garden (Credit, Kayleigh Bryant)

Washington Parks & People
2437 15th St. N.W.
Washington, DC, 20009
(202) 462-7275

With the slogan, “A rock, a river, a tree – A park for all people,” the Washington Parks & People nonprofit group has set out to revitalize city parks and communities. Volunteers are encouraged to partner with the organization to make a difference in the environment and in the culture of some of DC’s oldest but most forgotten communities. Families are encouraged to inspire volunteer commitments in their children so that the next generation will continue to work to save the parks and communities. Washington Parks & People hosts a variety of events each summer to promote community and family volunteering.

Related: Best Spots to Spend a Summer Day With Your Family in DC

Kayleigh Bryant is a D.C. native, traveler, foodie, artist and frequent museum visitor. Her lifelong fascination with art has moved her to explore the themes, techniques and media artists have employed to express their ideas. Kayleigh has earned a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. Her work can be found on