Purpose/Objective: The Garden Team will be responsible for assisting in the planning, planting and care of a series of gardens. The gardens will serve as a model of responsible land stewardship and holistic agricultural practices. They will also be a learning area for local school children and community members.
Location: The Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield, MA. Bullitt is a property of The Trustees of Reservations. It consists of 262 acres of forest and meadows. The property is home to the Highland Communities Initiative, which encourages conservation of natural and cultural resources in the Highlands of Massachusetts.
Key Responsibilities: Assisting in planning garden construction, installing landscaping features, prepping garden sites, planting agreed upon plant species, weeding, watering, and mulching, harvesting or pruning. Plan garden aesthetics and circulation. Effectively manage plant nutrition, insect, wildlife or pathogen pressure. Work to improve overall soil health. Create signs or labels for all plants. Work with volunteers or school groups to accomplish garden work. Work with other members of gardening team cooperatively.
Impact Goal: The overall goal of the Bullitt Reservation is to engage people with the land and promote an ethic of stewardship and connection to our region. The gardens will serve as a key way of demonstrating a positive and lasting human relationship with the landscape, as well as a learning platform for community members of all ages on topics such as carbon sequestration, food systems, pollinator species, native landscaping, rainwater gardens, and more.
Qualifications: A strong desire to work outside as well as an ability to work in collaboration with many different people. The ideal volunteer should have a background in sustainable agriculture or organic gardening, permaculture, native and invasive plant species, basic ecology and wildlife. They should be able to perform physical labor in a variety of conditions. An ability to communicate what the Garden Team has done in the garden, and how it relates to the living systems at Bullitt would be helpful.
Time Commitment: 8 months. March 2011-October 2012
Training/Support: Volunteers will have support from Trustees staff and the Service Learning Coordinator. Garden planning will be a joint effort between the gardening team, Trustees staff, including a regional ecologist, and possibly other community members or volunteers. Materials and tools will be provided by the Trustees.
Benefits: Gain experience planning, constructing, and managing a garden. Practice or learn gardening skills. Garden Team members will have an opportunity to be creative and work independently. Be a member of a community teaching and learning sustainability and resilience. This is a wonderful opportunity for a practicum or independent study project. There will be an opportunity to network and build professional relationships.
Supervisor: Layla Hazen, Service Learning Coordinator and Wendy Sweetser, Director.
Hours/Time Commitment: Hours will vary depending on seasonal demands. Winter months will consist primarily of planning, while spring and summer months will involve outside work. Volunteers should plan to be available between 5-20 hours per week during the growing season. Hours will vary depending on size of Gardening Team. A flexible schedule is available.