REC Volunteer Opportunities

Frequently Asked Questions

 

REC COVID-19 Volunteer Protocol

While volunteering, we ask you take the following precautions to keep yourselves and others safe:

  • Stay at least six feet apart from other people.

  • Wear a face mask 

  • Wash your hands when you arrive on site and before departure-- at least. 

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you start feeling sick while volunteering, go home. 

We are also committed to your safety and the safety of our team. Our staff will ensure that:

  • Groups will be no larger than 10 people.

  • All volunteers will be required to schedule volunteers hours ahead of time. 

  • No drop-in volunteers will be accepted.

  • Upon arrival, all volunteers and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Please do not show up for volunteering if you answer yes to any of the following:

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity)

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)

  • Fatigue (fatigue alone should not exclude volunteers/staff from participating)

  • Headache

  • New loss of smell or taste

  • New muscle aches

  • Come into contact with someone in the past 14 days with a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 or someone who is ill with a respiratory illness

  • In the last 14 days, have travelled outside of the country or to one of the states that does not comply with the COVID-19 travel order(see https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order). 

  • Tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days

  • Any other sign of illness

General Information

Who can volunteer?

REC welcomes support from volunteers of all ages and experience levels.

Our open farm volunteer hours are a great introductory experience to our

work for any age. Children of all ages are welcome but must be accompanied

by an adult.  

The YouthGROW farms are not ADA accessible and have uneven and rough terrain. Please reach out to our Director of Programs directly for information on accessible volunteer opportunities at grace@recworcester.org.

When and how can I volunteer?   

In order to ensure the safety of our staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are no longer offering drop-in hours but are making volunteer times available for sign up in advance. Please review available volunteer days and times here.

What should I expect?

Expect to get your hands dirty! Depending on the day and program you may be planting, weeding, harvesting, and cleaning up the farm.

How can I prepare?

You should bring water, dress according to the weather, and must wear closed-toe shoes. 


What if it rains?

If it rains while still warm we do work inside and in the high tunnel. When temperatures reach below 45 degrees we will likely cancel farm and garden volunteer hours for the day.

Can I volunteer during the winter?

We close the YouthGROW farm for the winter in late November and reopen in April.

We do not host drop in hours at the farm between these months. 

From February to April you can join us in preparing for the reopening of the farm as we grow seedlings in greenhouses. These locations are not fixed so look out for updates on our website and Facebook page or contact Tom ttrepanier@recworcester.org

Group Volunteering

Our staff has experience working with volunteer groups ranging from small groups to large all-day events over a variety of ages and experience levels. 

 

Normally, REC is able to host groups of up to 40 people at the YouthGROW

farm between the months of April-June and mid August-October. We are

unable to host groups at the YouthGROW farms in July and early August.

Most years we can accommodate groups as large as 20 volunteers from

April-October at our school and community garden sites. 

Due to COVID-19, our group cap size is 10 people at all of our sites.

 

We generally require 2 weeks advance notice to schedule a group volunteer opportunity.  We recommend scheduling a minimum of two hours and a maximum of four hours for an optimal experience. For shorter times and smaller groups, our team will do a brief introduction and volunteers should expect to jump right into farm tasks. For larger groups volunteering for longer periods, we are happy to incorporate farm or community garden tours, group discussion, and extended Q&A in addition to farm work. We have sheltered space on our YouthGROW farm where we can accommodate groups for meals on site. 

 

Please fill out this google form to inform us of your group and an REC staff member will reach out to you shortly. 

How can I get more involved?

Intern! If you are interested in regular volunteering with a deeper focus on a particular program and increased responsibilities, we recommend reviewing our internship opportunities. Each of our programs, YouthGROW, UGROW, and the Farmers Market, host internships which enable individuals to become more involved with the REC. 

 

Donate! Looking to support the REC in another form? We greatly appreciate all donations. You can also set up a recurring donation and become a Grow Club member!

Attend REC Events! Check back in winter 2020 for updated opportunities. 

Visit our Farmers Markets! Contact our farmers market manager Ashley (farmersmarket@recworcester.org) for more information. 

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Email our Director of Programs, Grace, at grace@recworcester.org to share your skills and interest and see how you can get involved!

 
 
 
 

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