Become a Volunteer

Ribbon-Cutting-core-team-1500px.jpg

We want all our volunteers to have fun and learn while they contribute to expanding the Deep Roots community. We can customize a volunteer assignment to your time, interests, and skills.

Learn. Share. Grow.

We invite you to be a part of our sustainable movement right here in our own backyards!

So come grow with us, get your hands in the dirt (or not). Meet like-minded individuals who care about the earth and are ready to promote, educate, inspire, celebrate and build a sustainable community that:

  • creates a healthy environment for our families

  • grows our own food

  • takes toxics our of our yards and our homes

  • shares our skills and tools

  • understands which foods ensure a long and healthy life

  • supports healthy lifestyles for all ages

What you learn and share as a volunteer can enhance not only your gardening skills but is an enjoyable way to work together to make a positive impact on our community. Everyone can help out as their time permits by choosing activities that they enjoy.

Contact Us

You can meet our volunteer teams and supporters at our periodic volunteer gatherings. Attending gatherings and meetings is NOT necessary to be a volunteer. We are happy to meet with you individually to talk about what volunteer job is right for your interests, skills and time availability. Tell us about a volunteer job you would like to add to our list below. If you can't come to one of our volunteer events and have questions please contact Estelle at 708-386-7197 and estelle[at]deep-roots-project.org. The date of the next volunteer event will be listed in our Upcoming Events page.

Core Team – Plans strategy and focus for Deep Roots current and future work

Our 6 teams

Team descriptions and ways you can help are lower down on this page.

  • Communications Team

  • Outreach & Volunteer Team

  • Education & Workshop Team

  • Build & Outdoor Team

  • Sales Team

  • Infrastructure Team

Deep Roots will grow because of the hard work and creativity or our incredible volunteers. Volunteers can work with more that one team. You can try out several Deep Roots volunteer jobs. The team leader will guide and train you as needed.

Communications Team

The Communications team is the marketing arm of Deep Roots Project. It is presently focused on promoting our events, projects, products, services and activities with our social media, our e-newsletter, our website, our blog and print media. Our writers work closely with the leaders if the Core Team, Sales Team and Outreach Team to gather content. We need to develop our following on Twitter, Instagram and FB by contacting the “influencers” – bloggers and social media writers with large followings.

Examples of what Communication Team volunteers can do:

  • Assist the e-newsletter editor

  • Share Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with their own social media networks.

  • Need volunteers knowledgeable about edible gardening to handle Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

  • Help write and design our newsletters. The newsletter editor will supply the necessary resources.

  • Use the newsletter stories to make social media posts

  • The Comm team will create a posting schedule with an automated social media calendar.

  • Load each new newsletter on to the Deep Roots website

  • At events help people sign up for our newsletter on a computer, a tablet or a paper signup sheet

  • Work with our sales manager to promote our store to new target audiences.

  • Work with the Outreach Team’s volunteer co-ordinator to recruit volunteers for all the teams.

  • Work with the Healthy Lawn Pledge coordinator to get more pledges for toxic-free lawns.

  • Work with the Outreach Team to promote DRP to schools, congregations, and organizations.

  • Work with the Outreach Team to promote volunteer events, potluck dinners and other activities

  • Establish solid relationships with local newspapers so they publish stories about Deep Roots

  • Help post to local digital bulletin boards like MomMail, Sugar Beet Edible Gardening Facebook Group

  • Ask local groups to put our events in their newsletters and social media.

  • Help develop a “news aggregation blog” using articles, books and resources we collected.

  • Take photos at Deep Roots workshops and events

Outreach Team

The Outreach Team has 2 roles –(1) making the community aware of Deep Roots education and other services and (2) managing our growing group of diverse volunteers. The Outreach Team plans events like Volunteer Gatherings and the Trailside Museum celebration in Fall 2018. We want our events to be fun as well as a time to share, learn, get inspired, make friends, strengthen relationships and grow our community of gardeners. Outreach Team and the Communication Team work closely together.

Examples of what Outreach Team volunteers can do:

  • Engage people and hand out flyers at events like the Farmers Market, fairs, Day in Our Village, Earth Day.

  • Call volunteers, customers and members when other teams need more than email contact

  • Help plan successful events. We want participants to leave wanting more

  • Help with event logistics like food and activities. Help out at a sign-in table.

  • Help us recruit, coordinate and support volunteers. Help volunteers decide what volunteer job they want to do and get any training they need.

  • Help us connect and collaborate with local groups like congregations, gov’t agencies, schools, colleges, scouts, libraries, retiree buildings and neighborhood organizations of all sizes

  • Post flyers about Deep Roots on bulletin boards, store windows and other locations.

  • Help run a garden partnering matchup system. People with land who need help would partner with people without land who live nearby.

  • Help run a tools and skills sharing system.

  • Help run a food sharing program for our edible gardeners and volunteers. Gardeners could barter extra food with other gardeners. And they could offer extra food to volunteers as a way to thank them for their support of Deep Roots. The infrastructure Team will create a user-friendly sharing system.

  • Help get more “Healthy Lawn /Healthy Family” pledges.

  • Help manage fundraising and write grant proposals

  • Help manage a new Deep Roots membership program

Education and Workshop Team

We will offer free workshops on edible gardening, natural (non-toxic) lawn care, food preservation, healthy diet/lifestyle on weekends through most of the year. We host up to 3 workshops per month depending on how many volunteers offer to present them. We plan to create an Edible Gardening video course by combining clips from workshops and gardening work. The objective of the course is to teach as many people as possible how to grow big harvests in small spaces using the least time and effort and be successful the first year.

Examples of what Education/Workshop Team volunteers can do:

  • Present your own workshop or be part of a presentation team.

  • Present a workshop on edible gardening.

  • Present a workshop on food preservation – canning, fermenting, freezing, drying, etc

  • Present a workshop on healthy diet & healthy life style.

  • Help answer questions at a workshop.

  • Help record our workshops on video

  • Help edit the 2-hour videos into segments we can load on to our YouTube channel

  • Help create an edible gardening online course using clips from the workshop videos and new outdoor clips

  • Help shoot additional video clips of garden work that we need for the online course.

  • Mentor gardeners on beginner, intermediate and advanced levels

  • Explore new topics for workshops and workshop presenters

  • Help create slideshows for workshops

  • Create a survey form that workshop participants fill out at the end of a workshop

  • With the help of the Infrastructure Team, enter the survey data into a spreadsheet

Build and Outdoor Team

We design and efficiently build cedar raised beds and planter boxes in a our garage workshop using many kinds of power tools and templates. We have a truck to transport our custom soil blend, leaf mulch and compost from a landscape materials company in the suburbs. We schedule building sessions on weekends and weekday nights that our volunteers are available. Our Inspiration Edible Gardens were funded last year by a grant from the OPRF Community Foundation.

Examples of what Build/Outdoor Team volunteers can do:

  • Use a power table saw to cut the cedar boards to the correct length for raised beds using a template

  • Use a power screwdriver and a nail gun to assemble cedar boards into raised beds

  • Help cleanup the garage workshop after a building session

  • Help transport raised beds, soil, mulch and compost with our truck (or your truck)

  • Help plant veggie seedlings in the raised beds

  • Help plant native plants in parkway gardens

  • Learn to brew compost tea

  • Apply compost tea on raised beds with a sprayer or a watering can

  • Train new team member to build raised beds after you master the process yourself

Sales Team

Purchases made from the Deep Roots online gardening store help to fund our mission – encouraging and empowering residents through free workshops and outreach activities to convert toxic lawns into bountiful, organic, edible and native gardens. Our store offers superior quality, great value, easy setup, attractive design, delivery and installation. There are three categories of products available: (1) Cedar raised beds and planters, (2) Soil, leaf mulch, and soil amendments and (3) Seedlings and seeds. The Sales Team and the Build/Outdoor Team work closely together on building the raised bed and transporting the soil and amendments in our truck. Customers pre-order veggie seedlings in late winter and the Good Earth Greenhouse grows them for us.

Examples of what Sales Team volunteers can do:

  • Help expand our customers using strategic sales management methods. We are seeking an experienced sales manger for this role.

  • Work with the Communications Team to reach more “leads.”

  • Work with the Outreach Team volunteers who connect with local groups like retiree buildings, high schools, colleges, congregations, libraries, local organizations, etc.

  • Schedule and coordinate deliveries of raised beds and soil with the customers and the Build/Outdoor Team volunteers

  • Assisting our sales manager with orders, customer questions, tracking deliveries, updating spreadsheets, etc. For example, calculate how many cubic feet of soil a customer needs or help a customer find the right place in their yard for a raised bed.

Infrastructure Team

The infrastructure Team works to support all the other teams with the information they need to function efficiently and effectively. The Infrastructure Team is responsible for managing and maintaining our organization’s critical information and data which includes spreadsheets, our website, videos, educational materials, newsletters and more. Examples of spreadsheets are e-newsletter contacts, customers, associates, vendors, members, volunteers, event registrations. User-friendly data management is crucial for efficient and smooth operation of the whole organization.

Examples of what Infrastructure Team volunteers can do:

  • Help update our website built in SquareSpace with new text and photos provided by the team leaders and Core Team. We can train you to update content in SquareSpace.

  • Help solve issues with the website by talking to SquareSpace tech support.

  • Help analyze survey data and create surveys.

  • Better organize files and folders on Google Drive

  • Organize videos on Google Drive

  • Manage the e-newsletter contact lists

  • Create EventBrite pages for new events and manage the event registration data

  • Make reports from website tracking data in Google Analytics and SquareSpace Analytics.

  • Regularly check the email address for submitting e-newsletter ideas and enter them into a spreadsheet.

  • Enter data from our signups sheets into Google spreadsheets

  • Export recent newsletter signups from our website form into the e-newsletter main contact list

  • Enter survey data from paper signup sheets into the correct spreadsheet

  • Assist our team leader in overhauling our present disjointed data storage systems into a more comprehensive user-friendly database system.

We welcome donations

Purchases made from the our online edible gardening store fund our vision. We are a 501c3 nonprofit and donations are tax deductible.

Keep in touch

Receive our monthly newsletter and like our Facebook page for information on our free workshops, sales, and resources.