Your community needs you. Use your gardening skills to beautify your community by garden volunteering. Offering your green-thumb to the world helps make it a better place. Your neighborhood can always use a bit more nature and a lot more kindness. Garden volunteering brings these two wonderful things together through community service. If you have been looking for a way to practice your gardening skills, volunteering offers the perfect opportunity to garden more. Not only does it grow your gardening skills but also grows your community.
Garden volunteering connects you to your neighborhood and the folks living there. You can meet new people of like minds, through fellow gardeners, as well as others in your community. Being active in the neighborhood engages you with your surroundings and neighbors. Volunteering is often fun, challenging, and offers learning moments that you may not have experienced by staying in your own garden. Take new pride in your neighborhood and its surroundings by changing the landscape. If you are unsatisfied with your neighborhood because it lacks color or life, take initiative and do it yourself. Volunteering makes you and your community more lively.
By going out and working in different areas, you work with diverse varieties of soil, sunlight, and plant types. Your gardening experience grows by volunteering, as it puts you in new situations with new folks and plants. There are many different ways you can garden volunteer, but just a few include beautifying your neighborhood, starting a community garden, or joining a public garden maintenance group.
Let’s look at some ways you can get started garden volunteering!
What You’ll Need
Since you are offering your gardening services to the community for free, you will probably need to bring your own tools. It’s helpful to have a well-established tool kit for your garden volunteer excursions.
Some gardening essentials for garden volunteer projects include:
- A trowel comes in handy when in the field. The small size assists with travel-ease but doesn’t hinder you from regular garden tasks and issues.
- Garden shears or pruners always come in handy when working in the garden, especially for volunteering.
- Gloves are crucial for your protection. You’ll need to bring these to your volunteer site, as you may encounter unknown debris, weeds, or brambles.
- A watering can comes quite in handy when volunteering, especially if you are working far from a hose. Make sure to fill up before you walk to your garden patch; then you won’t have to make extra trips.
- Since you’ll have to carry these tools with you, I recommend investing in a portable bench that includes storage. These benches are simple fold-up chairs that allow you to sit close to the plants without straining your back. They often have compartments to store your tools for transport and are pretty nifty.
Making a Positive Impact with Garden Volunteering
Volunteering in your community is beneficial for all parties involved. For the gardeners putting in the work, you gain the experience of gardening in different environments, conditions and diverse plants. You also gain new connections with your fellow man, gaining valuable, and meaningful relationships through stepping out of your regular routine.
Garden volunteering not only helps you but those who see your hard work. Whether you are helping a specific person, or are cleaning a public space, it does a great deal of good for the by-passers. The overall mood of a neighborhood can be improved with a well-kept flower bed or freshly trimmed bushes. The work you volunteered to do shows that people care about the community that we are connected to. The beauty of nature offers purity, hope, and happiness to an otherwise concrete world.
A community garden is a great way to incorporate volunteering into your love of plants. This particular way of garden volunteering provides for the surrounding community. Community gardens usually feature fruits and vegetables free to those who want or need the freshly grown food. This not only helps people eat more healthy diets but also assists those who may not have access to such foods. It can lift the load off of struggling families by the community providing for them.
Not only does it provide food for people, but it allows them to take ownership over their health and happiness. Gardening is great for the mind and body. The satisfaction of growing your own food in a community of others who appreciate nature brings joy to the neighborhood.
A handy technique of growing healthy, nutrient rich garden veggies is through aquaponics. If you have access to a man-made fishpond, or would consider adding one to your yard, this method may be beneficial to you. Aquaponics 4 Idiots has discovered a way to transfer the nutrients from algae growing in fish tanks into your plant’s root system. Filter the water through to your seedlings and you’ll find that your veggies grow faster and are more vibrant. Check out their easy step-by-step instructions for getting started with your eco-friendly nutrition system with Aquaponics 4 Idiots.
Notice a bare patch of land along the sidewalk? Maybe you saw some litter along the road. Your neighbor’s lawn is getting a bit unruly, and they haven’t had time to mow it. These are all opportunities to take advantage of and put your gardening skills to the task.
Start volunteering in your neighborhood and you’ll find yourself taking more pride in the area you live. Put work into your community and you may find that it will start giving back. Take time to plant a flower bed in an empty patch of dirt to brighten the day of your neighbors, as well as improve the environment. Planting bright flowers will encourage pollinators like butterflies and birds to visit the neighborhood, adding vibrancy to your ecosystem.
Even if your hard work goes un-thanked, rest assured that someone noticed and appreciated your work. Small acts of kindness brighten the lives of strangers we may never speak to. So, if you’re thinking about how much nicer the corner would be with a few marigolds, or that the bushes are getting overgrown… Do it! Seize the day and take pride in your neighborhood.
Garden Club Volunteers
Garden volunteering is a great way to get together with your community. Both gardeners and non-green thumbed folks can unite over helping the community. Coordinating with a group of gardeners is perfect for volunteering. The more gardeners, the bigger projects you can undertake. This makes it the perfect opportunity for garden clubs to participate in, a group of passionate gardeners to make the world just a bit more green.
If you are already connected to a garden club, this is a great activity for the club to lead. Find a project that you feel passionate about to join in support, or start your own project. Garden club members should divide their skills where they are most helpful, that way your collective skills and resources are most effective. If one member feels more comfortable in their own yard, perhaps give them the task of planning volunteer excursions. For those with a keen eye for color, set them to landscape planning and design. Others may prefer to do the manual labor, enjoying the comforting sensation of dirt between their fingers and the satisfaction of completing a task.
However you decide to organize, find a place in your vicinity to support. If your garden club is looking for established organizations to join, or want a preliminary example, check out some places in your area. These establishments are often public parks or arboretums. They are large garden spaces available for the general public to enjoy, but require lots of upkeep. To keep these spaces free or affordable for visitors, they often rely on volunteer gardeners to care for the flora.
Frequently Asked Questions: Garden Volunteering
How do I find volunteer groups near me?
Groups are often active in the community and are readily available through posters, community boards, volunteer services or even a quick internet search. There are also groups that link you geographically to gardening groups in your area, all it takes is a little search.
What if I don’t know who owns the land?
If you have found a patch of land that you want to embellish with a garden, but are unsure of the owner, check with the city. The space may have an address attached to it, that can be looked up for the owner of the property. If the land has no address, it is most likely city land. You can apply for a permit to start a garden in this area.