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Volunteer

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective. From the volunteer Board of Directors to our garden managers and garden site team members, our Collective is run entirely by our dedicated volunteers. We invite you to become a part of our valuable volunteer team.  There are many types of jobs to get involved in, from helping out at a work bee to facilitating a workshop. Depending on your interest and capacity, you can choose the level of involvement that you want to commit to. 

Keeping the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective running smoothly takes work and coordination. To share the load, all members of the Collective are expected to spend a few hours over the year helping with jobs that improve our shared garden spaces and garden community. As a minimum, we require members to volunteer for 2 hours each year but more help is always welcome! 


What can I do as a volunteer?

There are many types of jobs to get involved in, such as taking on a task at an event or becoming a gardening mentor to a new gardener. Depending on your interest and capacity, you can choose your area of commitment. Here are some examples of ways you can support the Collective:

 

1.     Join our Mailing List

We send out our newsletter monthly during the gardening season. Be in the loop about current projects, upcoming events, and interesting news. This is also a great way to keep up to date on current and upcoming volunteer opportunities!

 

2.     Become a Gardener or Supporting Member

Members are people who support the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective simply by paying an annual membership as a gardener or supporting member (a supporting member is one without a garden plot). This may not sound like much but it’s actually very important for us. When we apply for grants it is important for us to demonstrate that we represent the interests of others and the community as a whole (e.g. providing education and hands-on experience in the creation and maintenance of an environmentally sustainable, organic garden in a northern environment; and assisting in food security needs of the whole community by providing food for people in need through donations to local charities). Having a large number of members is one way to do this. The more members we have and the more active those members are, the stronger we are as an organization.

 

3.     One-Time Opportunities

If you are looking for a shorter time commitment, consider signing up for a single event. These events would include smaller tasks that assist our Collective such as:

  • Sweep and organize tool shed
  • Cut lawn
  • Trim outside fence
  • Pick up litter outside garden
  • Water and weed community plot (at site 1 and 3 only)
  • Empty the garbage (e.g. take it home for disposal)
  • Help out at a collective garden clean up event
  • Turn the compost
  • Make phone calls to gardeners to share information and invite them to events and garden clean up events

4.     Specialized Skill

Do you have a special skill that you would like to put to work for us? e,g., research, photography, gardening, canning and preserving food, carpentry, video, or graphic design? Are you a musician, writer, business owner, lawyer, filmmaker, plumber, or accountant who would like to help us out pro bono? Let us know! Email Communications Coordinator, at communications@ykgardencollective.org

 

5.     Longer-Term Opportunities

We have volunteer opportunities available that require a longer time commitment and more responsibility. This could include tasks such as:

  • Compost Coordinator (e.g. help look after the compost bins)
  • Facilitate a workshop
  • Host an information-sharing session with garden members and the community
  • Mentor a new gardener
  • Write a gardening-related article for sharing with members electronically (eg. for inclusion in the newsletter or on web page)
  • Join the Education Committee
  • Become a member of the Garden Site Team at your community garden location


6.     Garden Site Team Member

There is a Garden Site Team at each of the community garden sites. They support the garden manager with a variety of roles: 

  • Garden coordination and communication
    • Coordinate garden team volunteers at the site
    • Report to and coordinate with the board as appropriate
    • Attend one meeting with a board member and all other garden coordinators at the start of the gardening season
  • Communication with gardeners
    • Main point of contact for gardeners at the site
    • Recruit volunteers to help with garden tasks
    • Help ensure that gardeners know the responsibilities, rules and rights of being a Garden Collective member
    • Post key information at garden site (e.g. contact information, gardening rules, chores sign-up list, map of garden site and plot allotments
  • Planning and budget
    • Identify and manage garden site budget (usually approx. $200/year - for small tools, repairs, etc)
    • Determine any special projects and raise funds (as needed)
  • Membership
    • Attend one meeting organized by the Board membership coordinator to allocate garden plots for all gardeners
    • Communicate with individual gardeners at the site:
      • Inform gardeners of their plot numbers
      • Follow-up with any incomplete registrations (outstanding payments, information needed, etc)
      • Introduce garden partners that don't know each other (via email)
      • Identify any plots not being used and get in touch with people on the wait list (wait list will be managed by the Board)
  • Site maintenance
    • Plan and host work-bees (2 per year minimum)
    • Develop and post a chores list (e.g. sign-up sheet in shed)
    • Work with city to get water turned on at start of the season
    • Coordinator general garden maintenance (e.g. organize tool shed, cut lawn, pick up litter, empty garbage)
    • Identify and resolve issues or problems relating to plot or site maintenance
    • Plan for future garden site upgrades/maintenance when necessary
    • Maintain inventory of and identification system for YCGC tools and equipment
  • Compost coordinator
    • Set up a schedule for weekly compost turning and recruit gardeners to turn and water the compost
    • Post the compost turning and watering schedule in the garden shed
    • Oversee the compost area to make sure the compost is being turned and watered regularly
    • Label compost bins as active, resting (curing), and ready to use
    • Act as a contact person if there are questions / ideas about managing the compost
  • New gardener liaison
    • Check in with new gardeners at the start of each year (e.g. phone call to explain how garden works and identify any resources they need)
    • Set up a site visit with each new gardener in the first few weeks of the growing season (e.g could have an evening for all new gardeners and one-on-one visits if necessary)
  • Donations
    • Maintain donation sign-up sheet in shed and enter data online
    • Phone call reminders at end of August for food donations
    • Follow-up phone call in mid-Sept to those who haven't registered donations yet
  • Site specific tasks (e.g. Weledeh liaison, Site 1 & 2 orchard maintenance)
    • Weledeh - school liaison
    • Site 1 & 2 - orchard maintenance 


7.      Board of Directors

The Yellowknife Community Garden Collective is governed by a group of volunteer Board of Directors. The Board provides high level guidance for the organization. Board members also take an active role in organizing, promoting, and staffing YCGC events. The Board meets once per month.

For more information about our Board of Directors, click here.

If you are interested in joining the Board, please let us know! We welcome your expression of interest at any time. Please email Jenn, our Communications Coordinator, at communications@ykgardencollective.org

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