Volunteer Opportunities, Orientations, and Teams
Volunteers are the vitality and future of the Somerville Community Growing Center. The Friends of the Community Growing Center thank you for considering a contribution of your time and talents!
The Growing Center is not a community garden in the traditional sense. We follow a different model. There are no plots assigned to individuals for their own use; we have gardening space, which volunteers tend. The majority of the produce is donated to local food pantries to help give everyone in our community a chance to eat fresh and local.
The Growing Center offers many flexible and relaxing opportunities to volunteer time and skills, both outdoors and indoors, even if your schedule is unpredictable! Some are ongoing and open to everyone, and others are best suited for volunteers who have attended one of our volunteer orientations.
We use our newsletter to announce general, all-inclusive volunteer opportunities, as well as upcoming free programming events, and volunteer orientations. To sign up, go here.
In addition to this, you can always show up during Open Garden Saturdays, which happen at the site on Vinal Avenue. (You can check our calendar for exact dates.) Under normal circumstances, these mornings are for general maintenance and can include weeding, pruning, organizing storage, planting seedlings, composting, and more. You can stop by, even just for a while, and meet other volunteers! Due to public health recommendations, however, for the time being, Open Garden Saturdays are for passive visitation, rather than garden work. We will let you know when this changes.
Volunteer Orientations & Teams:
We use a team model. Some teams maintain discrete parts of the site. Others promote and support programs hosted onsite. We also have special projects related to the Growing Center’s history and future, and teams work behind the scenes to accomplish its mission.
By joining a team––or more than one––you can have significant impact on this unique community site!
Our teams include: Site Team (Garden Team, Watering Angels, Compost Team, Snow Team); Fundraising & Finances Team; Outreach & Communication Team; Programming Committee; Open Hours Hosting Team; and Open Play Team (see descriptions below).
To join a team, you'll first attend one of our volunteer orientations (sign up at the bottom of the page!), where you'll learn how to best use and help take care of the site. After your orientation, you will be able to access the site independently of events. Orientations typically take place once a month, in season, and last about an hour. Orientations are also available if you’d like to host an event onsite or lead a work-day.
Help coordinate the energies needed to maintain the site to meet the wide range of human uses, in addition to the ecological functions.
Become a weekly Watering Angel, to assist with watering and other garden tasks on a weekly schedule from May–Sept. Join the Garden Team, to plant and tend the annual garden beds and containers, as well as perennial areas of the Center. As part of the Compost Team, ensure that the composting system is kept in good running order and creating finished compost to use on site to revitalize soils. The Snow Team helps clear snow in the winter so that Open Hours and children's groups can continue to visit the site in all weather.
Fundraising & Finances Team:
Help coordinate raising of funds to complement the CPA funding to complete the renovation and to cover basic operating costs. Or assist our Treasurer with accounting and record keeping.
Volunteer as a fundraising event coordinator to help the Committee implement ideas like a Fall Bulb Sale (Aug-Oct), Wreath Project (Oct-first week in Dec), Seed Sales (Jan-March).
Outreach & Communication Team:
Help get out the word about Growing Center events and resources to the wider community. Assist with social media and promotion, getting the word out to diverse groups about opportunities. Would especially welcome language and cultural connections! Help with flyer distribution, covering a specific area of the city when we have special flyers to share.
Host our outreach table at events throughout the year to educate and actively engage community members.
Help guide and carry out educational and cultural events in keeping with the mission of the Growing Center.
Be an Event Host, to serve as the site contact and greeter for calendar events to make sure everyone is comfortable, safe, able to participate, and leaves knowing about the Center’s other opportunities.
Open Hours Hosting Team:
Volunteer to host Open Hours, held on Saturdays and some weekdays.
Host the garden at times when it is otherwise closed, and keep it open for the public.
Open Play Team [on hold for 2020-21]:
The Growing Center is looking for volunteer parents/guardians/caregivers to help host our weekly drop-in playgroups onsite at 22 Vinal Ave, Somerville. Now called Open Play, this is a great way to freely let kids explore a bit of nature in Somerville. Tuesdays 4-6 pm and Fridays 9:30-12:00 beginning in late April / early May.
Open Play is typically for children ages 0-5 with their caregivers but we encourage elementary-aged kids and parents/sitters to come on Tuesdays.
If you were thinking of attending some of them anyway, this is a great way to participate and easily give your time! We'll host a few Volunteer Orientations in the spring. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Sign up below to express interest and receive updates, including upcoming Volunteer Orientations!