GreenUP Ecology Park – Volunteer (Park Steward) FAQ

What is GreenUP Ecology Park?

GreenUP Ecology Park is a unique place for people of all ages to discover a lasting friendship with our natural world. Tucked away from the city’s hustle and bustle, yet easily accessible, it’s a place to relax under the canopy of Peterborough’s urban forest and explore our natural environment. At the Park you’ll find numerous gardens showcasing a rich biodiversity of edible, drought-tolerant, rare woodland and pollinator-attracting plants.  GreenUP Ecology Park is accessible to the public throughout the year, but May through October is when the demonstration gardens and tree nursery bursts with life.  Our special park is a site for seasonal educational workshops on a variety of sustainable living topics (from fruit tree grafting to composting), school programs and summer day camps. This 5 acre sanctuary is lovingly and professionally maintained by a seasonal team of dynamic and committed Park Steward volunteers who work collaboratively with our park staff from May through October.

What kinds of things would I do as a volunteer?

Tasks change from week to week throughout the seasons and the weather, but include transplanting seedlings, planting trees, mulching & composting, and weeding. No previous gardening experience is necessary!

Our busy time is early spring when new seedlings and bare root tree stock arrive and need to be placed into pots. As well, large amounts of winter leaf mulch needs to be removed from of our nursery stock and checked over for health and inventoried.

During the summer, we slow down (due to heat!) and use our time to remove invasive species, weed the gardens, water newly plated trees and repair equipment and tools. In Autumn, we use our time to prune, transplant and inventory the plant species on the park , as well begin to enjoy the food  garden harvest including organic garlic, kale, carrots and much more! Herb sachets and teas are made with our Park Stewards from our abundant herb gardens. At the end of the season, we cover up the plants again with a thick layer of leaf mulch and enjoy a hearty breakfast by the campfire, prepared by staff for our Park Stewards as a sincere thank you for the hard work and dedication to Ecology Park.

We encourage you to complete an application to be a Park Steward on our website if you:

  1. Enjoy working outside with plants, trees and a diverse group of great people!
  2. Have the time commitment to volunteer on a weekly basis (Monday mornings) through the season, May through October
  3. Do not have any major physical limitations that would prevent you from shovelling, bending or lifting
  4. Enjoy and are able to work with direct supervision on particular tasks as required by staff

When are the times I can volunteer?

2016 Ecology Park Park Stewards help  Mondays throughout the season from 9:30am – 12:30pm. Please note, we do not have volunteer days on holidays which fall on a Monday. Additional dates and times maybe become available seasonally and will be posted on our website and social media. Sorry, we do not accept individual requests to volunteer at particular times.

All volunteers must attend an Ecology Park Volunteer Orientation and complete our online application form. Our next Ecology Park Volunteer Orientation will be scheduled in JULY. All persons who have completed an online application will be notified of the next date!

What kind of commitment do I need to give?

GreenUP Ecology Park seeks dedicated and committed volunteers who would like to work with us for the entire season and experience the beautiful transitions of the gardens and nursery from season to season. In our experience , our seasonal team of Park Stewards grow strong bonds to the group and park , while developing skills, knowledge and long lasting friendships to each other, the plants and wildlife who call Ecology Park their home. All volunteers undertake a thorough training and orientation in early spring, so we do not accept drop ins.

Should I bring anything with me?

Park Stewards should always come prepared for the elements. Even though we do have a rain shelter over some picnic tables, everything happens outside! Volunteers should always wear closed-toe shoes (no sandals or flip-flops), and bring a water bottle, sunhat, sunscreen and snacks if hungry. When it’s raining, volunteers should dress warmly and wear a raincoat, rain pants, and rain boots.

GreenUP Ecology Park has all the tools necessary for stewarding the garden, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gardening gloves if they have them. (We have some on site if you don’t own a pair).

Where is GreenUP Ecology Park?

GreenUP Ecology Park is located at 1899 Ashburnham Drive, at the southeast end of Beavermead Park, north west of Lansdowne St. and Ashburnham Dr.

How do I get there?

By bike: Running through GreenUP Ecology Park is Peterborough’s Rotary Trail, part of the Trans-Canada Trail system. It’s easy to get there by bicycle, and there’s a bike rack near the covered picnic tables.
By transit: City buses also stop right at the door! Just take the Ashburnham bus, and ask to exit at Peterborough Utilities and/or GreenUP Ecology Park.
By car: There is lots of free parking at Beavermead Park; just follow the trail at the South end to GreenUP Ecology Park. (The Peterborough Utilities parking lot is reserved for staff only.)

How do I get started?

You can fill out an online application form, or contact GreenUP Ecology Park Manager, Marcy Adzich at marcy.adzich@www.greenup.on.ca before May 31st. All GreenUP Ecology Park Stewards require a park orientation BEFORE volunteering. Due to the large size and nature of our park operations, we cannot accept drop-in volunteers who have not completed our orientation.