Our network of farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.
Building urban farms, planting in community gardens, and working major events and street fairs are all activities volunteers with GrowNYC take on, and we'd love to work with your team. Our volunteer opportunities are designed to be team building activities that are fun, lively, and get your hands a little dirty.
Whether it be planting flowers at a school in the South Bronx, staffing a recycling event in Jackson Heights, tackling a garden cleanup in East Harlem, or helping us tend to our new farm on Governors Island, we'll try to find a project that fits your needs.
2016 Volunteer Highlights
GrowNYC's corporate volunteering program worked with more than 2,000 volunteers in 2016, putting in 7,500 hours at 25 different gardens across the city. These volunteers worked on building brand new gardens, refurbishing old gardens, working at our spring plant sale, building rainwater harvesting systems, and much much more.
Altogether, GrowNYC build 8 brand new urban farms in 2016, giving the city 50,000 square feet of new green space for growing food, community meetings, and youth development.
Governors Island Teaching Garden
GrowNYC broke ground and opened Governors Island Teaching Garden, an 8,000 square foot urban farm that is open to the public during the Island's open season. GrowNYC also programs the learning garden all year long, offering free programming to public schools and summer camp groups. Groups of children take 2 hour tours that cover farming, cooking, healthy eating, and more.
More than a dozen volunteer groups helped us build out the garden from May to October.
East New York Gardens
Over the past 3 years, GrowNYC has built 5 new community gardens and completed 1 substantial renovation project in East New York, Brooklyn, all with significant help from volunteers.
In 2012, four volunteer groups helped combine 2 adjacent vacant lots into El Jardin del Pueblo, a food growing, chicken raising, rainwater harvesting at 2358 Pitkin Avenue.
Last year, GrowNYC worked with about 20 volunteers to build Chestnut Street Community Garden. 3 months later, we worked with a huge group of 200 volunteers at 4 sites at the same time, building three new gardens, Glenmore Grown, Ashford Teaching Garden, and Ashford Variety Garden, and substantially renovated PS4K Paradise Garden.
PS 25 School Garden Build
GrowNYC and our school garden program Grow to Learn NYC worked with about 30 volunteers from a tech company to clear an old, overgrown area of tall weeds and build new garden beds and wooden benches.
The garden will be used by PS 25 elementary school in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. This renovation was done in the summer when kids weren't in school, but most school garden builds will include building activities in the morning and planting and sign painting activities with kids in the afternoon.
El Sitio Feliz Community Garden
Hurricane Sandy devastated El Sitio Feliz Community Garden in East Harlem, knocking over several large trees that destroyed the entire garden. In 2013, GrowNYC rebuilt the garden using plastic lumber made from recycled Garnier shampoo bottles, building 50 raised beds, 6 picnic tables, and a new children's garden area.
We've returned to El Sitio Feliz several times since then, planting new flowers, building more raised beds, and adding a compost area. The garden is used by several local schools and an after school program.
Annual Spring Plant Sale
GrowNYC's Annual Spring Plant Sale serves 500 schools, urban farms, block associations, and community gardens across the city by providing them with locally grown vegetable, herb, and flowering plants at wholesale costs.
We depend on volunteers to help the thousand or so people that come out to pick up their plants - volunteers help customers find their orders, load it onto a cart, and fill their cars. The sale takes place at two community gardens, one in Brookyln and one in the Bronx, over 5 days in May, and is generally one of our nicest volunteer opportunities.