Get Your Hands Dirty! Volunteer to Help the Earth
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” John Muir
Ah, spring is finally upon us—and what better way to celebrate it than with Earth Day?
When did Earth Day begin?
Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day in the United States in 1970, before there was an EPA or a Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act. He was concerned that our environment was not being addressed in politics or the media. An estimated 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day. In 1990 it went international and is now celebrated in 193 countries. Want to make a difference to help Mother Earth? Activate Good has several partners with volunteer opportunities for Earth Day.
Did you know there is a one-acre farm and greenhouse in downtown Raleigh? Raleigh City Farm donates their food to nonprofits addressing food insecurity. In addition to activities held on the farm, they have a farm stand every Wednesday from April through October.
To celebrate their 10-year anniversary and Earth Day, Raleigh City Farm is hosting Bearthday Bites at Home on April 24th. There will be music, tours of the farm, activities for the kids, plein air artists and a three-course meal with produce sourced from the farm. Volunteers are needed for set-up and event support.
We Plant It Forward’s vision is “building a grassroots community network that works together to restore and preserve the natural environment…”
They can assist you or your organization through the entire process of reforesting a plot of land or planting trees in your neighborhood, school or park. It begins with an on-site assessment and plan. On planting day they provide the trees, tools and mulch for a successful planting day. Finally, there is a post-planting site visit along with a maintenance plan.
Not only does We Plant It Forward assist with tree planting, they hold tree giveaways. Refer to their website, weplantitforward.org, and click on Events to see when this will be offered.
Another focus of theirs is water conservation. Twice a year they hold a build-your-own rain barrel workshop at Lake Crabtree County Park. This activity is currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, but check back to their website to see when it will resume.
We Plant It Forward is always looking for volunteers for the above-mentioned activities. They also offer several virtual options that bring awareness to the environment. Do you like to write? They are in need of individuals to write an article for their blog on issues such as water conservation, alternative energy, water quality or environmental sustainability.
If creating videos is a passion of yours, you can help by creating videos on the following topics:
- How to plant a tree – a demonstration to help people learn how to properly plant a tree
- “What we do” – public awareness about We Plant It Forward and the environmental solutions they provide
- Environmental volunteer promotion – to show volunteers how their work benefits the environment
Check out activategood.org/virtual-volunteer-a-thon for more details on these projects. Since their beginning in 2009, We Plant It Forward has been continually growing.
According to president Maggie Bailey, “Because of Activate Good I have been able to operate at this level.”
Keep Durham Beautiful recognizes that litter damages communities not just aesthetically but environmentally. In addition to their scheduled litter pickup outings, Keep Durham Beautiful plants trees, maintains community gardens and encourages people to take ownership of their city. Besides an Adopt a Street program, they offer Adopt a Stop, Adopt a Stream and even Adopt a Drain. To get involved in any of these, go to keepdurhambeautiful.org.
Durham Parks and Recreation will be hosting an Earth Day celebration on April 24th. Enjoy music and conservation speakers from the comfort of your car or lawn chairs in front of your car. Food trucks will be available along with a paper shredding service. The event is free, but preregistration is required. Three different time slots are offered. During the 4:30-6:00 pm time frame, Tania Dautlick, executive director of Keep Durham Beautiful, will be speaking about biodiversity. Learn why biodiversity matters and how you can help observe and preserve it.
Volunteers are needed during the day to assist with set-up, as gate/parking attendants and as event monitors. Refer to their website dprplaymore.org/299/Earth-Day-Celebration for more information.
This nonprofit organization protects 22,144 acres of land encompassing eight counties in North Carolina. They work with private landowners, businesses and public agencies to protect our land, water, wildlife, forests and farms, which ultimately improves our quality of life.
To celebrate Earth Day, Tar River Land Conservancy is welcoming volunteers to help build hiking trails at the Roberts Chapel Conservation Area. The goal is to finish 1.5 miles of trails and open the nature preserve to the public in June. Tools and safety equipment will be provided. No experience is necessary, and you will be paired with experienced volunteers who will provide training and support. In addition to helping on April 22, they have several other dates in April and May for trail-building. Refer to activategood.org/earthday2021 for details.
Located in Chapel Hill, Wildwoods Community Farm is looking to develop their new 4-acre farm. This will eventually be a farm cooperative and will be maintained by the people who live there.
During the months of April, May and June, they are in need of many hands to help plant, paint buildings and make garden structures. This would be an excellent opportunity for group service projects as well as supervised children. See www.activategood.org/nonprofit/408 for details.
Volunteer for Earth Day!
Commit yourself to doing something to improve the environment this month. As the saying goes, every little bit helps, and if we all pitch in and do something just think of the impact we can make. Activate Good has many opportunities for volunteering. Check out their website: activategood.org/earthday2021.