Planning a Project

How to Initiate a Neighborhood Volunteer Project

If you live in San Rafael, and wish to beautify or enhance your neighborhood, this page describes the basic process to follow. Local leaders have made a significant impact on the quality of life in their neighborhoods by coordinating cleanup days, tree plantings, median landscaping projects, park improvements, and other projects.


Contact the Public Works Department at 415-485-3375 to determine if your project lies within the City right-of-way. Note that a minimum of 4 weeks lead-time is needed to coordinate new projects, and often more. Start early with your planning and communication to achieve success!

If your project is within city boundaries, fill out the Project Planning Worksheet. Or print out a Project Planning Form, complete it, and mail to Public Works.

The Volunteer Program & Public Works Departments will review the project proposal with other departments as needed to determine if the project can be accommodated.

Once a project is approved, one neighborhood representative must act as the official point person for the project. The Volunteer Program will draft an agreement to be signed by this representative and a Public Works representative.

Together we’ll identify a timeline, resources, tools, safety considerations, and anything else necessary to accomplish the project.

All volunteers will need to sign a Volunteer Service Agreement Form before beginning work (youth will need a parent’s signature).

Provide snacks and beverages if the project is longer than a few hours. We welcome any photos of your project so we can feature your accomplishments on our website or in our newsletter.

Please note that work done in medians and adjacent to streets or other safety hazards requires extensive planning to comply with Cal-OSHA safety requirements. Sometimes this means significant alterations to the proposal, and sometimes it limits the scope of work we can accomplish together.

Questions? Call the San Rafael Volunteer Program at 415-485-3071 or -3407. Visit the Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods.

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