Garden Program Volunteer

Client group: Children between the ages of 5 and 14, Youth aged 15-29

Location: Various school and park sites in the downtown east communities of St. James Town, Cabbagetown and Regent Park. Volunteers may choose one site among our various sites, or rotate between sites.

Purpose of position: To help Green Thumbs Growing Kids provide high-quality interactive programs for children and youth using food growing and food preparation activities.

Time commitment: 2-hour block of time, once a week for 6-8 weeks in either Spring, Summer or Fall

Reports to: Program Staff

Boundaries: Is not expected to run programs without staff supervision

Duties/Activities/Responsibilities
  • Before starting, attend a mandatory two hour orientation and training session
  • Shadow a program volunteer for two sessions once one of the activities below is chosen
  • Help with preparation, program and cleanup
  • Support program staff in delivering garden, greenhouse or classroom-based food production
  • Engage with staff and other volunteers in program debriefing
  • Take responsibility for one of the following activities:
    • Worm bins including:
      • Explore worms in the “worm condo” or bin with the students
      • Talk about the worms to the students (approx. 5 minutes)
      • Demonstrate how to handle the worms
      • Engage students in reviewing what they observe about the worms
    • Tasting tour including:
      • Take students on a walk through the garden
      • Talk about the edible plants to the students
      • Demonstrate how to harvest various plant parts that are edible
      • Have the students taste the various plants (including herbs, fruits and veggies)
      • Engage students in reviewing what they observe about the plants and what they could be used for at home (medicinal, culinary, tea, etc.)
    • Transplanting and planting including:
      • Plant “starts” from pots into the garden/or planting seeds in pots
      • Demonstrate how to fill pots with soil and plant seeds
      • Demonstrate safe use of gardening tools and how to transplant “starts” into the garden
      • Talk about plant needs (water, sun, warmth, soil, space and air)
Qualifications
  • Enjoys working with children and youth
  • Some basic plant knowledge
  • Good communication skills and ability to follow instruction
  • Comfortable with gardening tools and practices
  • Able to understand basic English, or bring interpreter
  • French language is an asset
Volunteer Benefits
  • New knowledge, practical experience and new ideas in horticulture, urban agriculture, sustainable agriculture, food preparation, equity and social justice
  • Plants, seeds and produce as available
  • Resume building
  • Experience with children and youth programming
  • Certificate of accomplishment

To register or for more information, contact:
Volunteer and Membership Co-ordinator
647-348-5437
volunteers@greenthumbsto.org