Community Volunteer Workdays
On the third Saturday of each month from March through October, volunteers help with the work of creating and maintaining the Grove. Individuals and groups of volunteers participate in gardening activities: clearing weeds and debris, mulching and hauling topsoil, planting new trees and shrubs, and other related activities within the Grove. Most volunteers find Community Volunteer Workdays to be a rewarding experience, even though you may have sore muscles at the end of the day! Many first-time volunteers become on-going participants.
2015 Community Volunteer Workdays
- March 21
- April 18
- May 16
- June 20
- July 18
- August 15
- September 19
- October 17
About Community Volunteer Workdays:
The Grove’s Community Volunteer Workdays Program brings together a broad cross-section of Bay Area residents – young and old; gay and straight; those who lived through the epidemic and those who are just learning about it – to maintain The Grove. The Community Volunteer Workdays Program is spread across 16 regular and special Workdays from March to October every year. Each regular Workday commences at 8:30 AM with registration and a breakfast of coffee, juices, bagels and fruit. After an introduction by The Grove’s executive director, the program manager explains the day’s various projects promptly at 9:00 AM. Volunteers then break out into teams and work under the supervision of more experienced volunteers who have been trained as team leaders. At noon, work ends and volunteers gather for “Circle Time” where announcements are made, sponsors are acknowledged and a moment of silence is observed in honor of all lives lost to AIDS. Lunch is then provided to all volunteers at 12:30 PM, who enjoy a large picnic on The Grove’s meadow. Special Workdays are organized at the request of corporate or other community groups.
The goal of the Workdays is to maintain The Grove’s 10-acre site. Workdays also fulfill other objectives:
- The Workdays have an educational component. The theme for this year’s Workdays is Conscious Conservation, with a volunteer landscape professional conducting 30-minute presentations on water conservation for Workday volunteers.
- The Workdays foster AIDS awareness and community engagement among youth. The Grove works with many Bay Area schools and other youth groups on a regular basis which allows youth to engage in important and productive work and acknowledge that they are participating in something that makes a difference in their community.
- By bringing together people from many racial, economic, cultural, religious and other social groups, the Workdays serve a broad constituency and help build lasting bridges between those who might not otherwise have crossed paths. As one volunteer said: “Rain or shine, coming back for Workdays is my way of staying connected to my past and make sure that I am helping to create a future.”
The Community Volunteer Workday Program is an excellent example of how private efforts can support Golden Gate Park and The Grove is often looked to as a model public-private partnership by other city and regional community-based park organizations. As Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks, stated, “Our partnership with The Grove is a perfect example of how public park systems are going to survive in the future. In an era of severely constrained resources, we need to rely on our ability to build relationships and partner with the community to help keep our parks clean and our recreation centers open and accessible. We can’t do it alone.”
Our long-term outcomes speak to the spirit of service in San Francisco. Since the first Workday 24 years ago, 23,600 volunteers have participated in more than 188 Community Volunteer Workdays and more than 108 special Workdays, donating more than 150,000 volunteer hours of labor worth $3.4 million, and planting nearly 10,000 trees, plants and shrubs.Community interest in the Workdays is growing, with a consistent 10% annual increase in participation since 2009. In fact, the program provides volunteers to other recreational areas in the park. The Grove’s volunteers regularly service the Park’s Rhododendron Dell, the Fern Dell, California Native Garden and the Academy of Sciences and also provide Golden Gate Park’s Main Nursery with critically needed volunteer labor.
What You Will Need To Know As a Volunteer:
Gloves and tools are provided, although many volunteers bring their own gloves. We suggest that you wear sturdy shoes and bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat or cap. No open toe shoes will be permitted. Please wear sturdy clothing (jeans and long-sleeved shirts are suggested) as we have discovered a few areas where poison oak is growing. Please advise your group of this fact; additionally, all volunteers are briefed on how to avoid coming into contact with the plant. All participants under the age of 18 must have a consent form signed by a parent/guardian prior to working at the Grove. You may download our standard Release Form here to complete and sign ahead of time, or they will be available on-site on the morning of the Community Volunteer Workday.
Please click here for directions to the Grove, and public transportation information (you may want to make copies for your group to distribute prior to the Community Volunteer Workday).
If there are questionable weather conditions, call the NAMG office by 7:30 a.m. on your scheduled Community Volunteer Workday for an official update based on current weather conditions. We look forward to a very productive and inspiring day.
Workday sponsors provide an important source of revenue necessary to sustain the Community Volunteer Workday program. Community Volunteer Workday sponsorships, which help to offset associated costs, range from $100 to $1,000. Honor a loved one, or have your company/group name presented at “Circle Time.” For corporate or other group sponsorship opportunities, please download our Workdays Sponsorship Levels & Opportunities Form, or call the office at (415)765-0497 for more information. Any groups of 3 or larger must contact the Grove at least three weeks in advance of a scheduled Community Volunteer Workday in order to confirm available space. You may send an email in the form below, or call our offices at (415)765-0497.
Contact The Grove: