Volunteer Safety

Before volunteering in Rock Creek Park we encourage you to review all safety information on this page. Included are some potential safety concerns to be aware of, however this does not include the full scope of all potential park hazards. For the safety of yourself and other volunteers maintain constant awareness of your surroundings.

In the event you or others you may be volunteering with ever feel unsafe, cease all activities immediately, assess the situation, and determine next steps. These next steps may include ending volunteer activities early.

In the event of an emergency contact U.S. Park Police: (202) 610-7500.



Upon finding graffiti at your volunteer site immediately contact U.S. Park Police Non Emergency: (202) 610-7505. Also alert NPS Staff (202) 895-6070 either directly or through your volunteer group leader.

If you encounter someone actively vandalizing park property with graffiti do not approach or attempt to stop the activity. Call U.S. Park Police Emergency (202) 610-7500.



We encourage you to sign up for AlertDC to receive weather safety updates.


During summer months heat related illness can become a prevalent issue for those volunteering or spending a lot of time outdoors. Please follow the tips for decreasing your chance of getting heat illness:

  • Adjust the work schedule, so that the most labor intensive work is done during the morning
  • Reduce the planned volunteer time
  • Establish a cooling off/rest station with shade
  • Wear proper protective clothing (light colored, lightweight material, hat, sunglasses etc.)
  • Take frequent regular breaks to drink water and stay hydrated


When the weather is cold, especially if there are high winds, it is best to stay indoors. However, if you plan to volunteer outside during the winter weather please prepare and dress accordingly. It is preferred that the outer layer is water and/or wind resistant.

Warm clothing includes:
  • Coat
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves/Mittens
  • Long sleeves
  • Long pants
When AlertDC activates a Hypothermia Alert cancel all planned volunteer activities until the Alert has been deactivated.

Natural Hazards

For safety tips about natural hazards in Rock Creek Park visit our Staying Safe in Rock Creek Park page.


Hazardous Materials

Avoid handling or touching any sort of hazardous or sharp material for example broken glass or needles. Report the location of these hazards to NPS Staff (202) 895-6070 and/or your volunteer group leader.


Historic and Cultural Artifacts

In the event you or a volunteer group member encounters or unearths what could potentially be a historic or cultural artifact, contact NPS Staff (202) 895-6070 for further instruction. End all volunteer activity in the immediate area of the potential artifact.



Some volunteer projects may require the use of tools. When using any tool especially those with sharp edges follow all required safety guidelines and instruction from NPS Staff and/or your group volunteer leader.

Last updated: April 6, 2017

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

5200 Glover Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20015


202 895-6000
Rock Creek Park's main phone line.

Contact Us