Capital Trees was built by volunteers and today volunteers are more important than ever for the work that we do. Whether it is helping to maintain the gardens, assisting with education in our spaces, or lending a creative eye — we have volunteering opportunities to match different schedules, interests, and skill levels.
Check out a few ways you can get involved now, or sign up to receive updates about future volunteer opportunities.
Come play in the dirt.
Volunteers are integral to the installation and ongoing management of our green spaces. There are many different ways to get involved and get your hands dirty — check out some of our volunteering options to determine the best fit for you!
Weekly maintenance volunteers:
Our recurring maintenance volunteers currently meet on Wednesday mornings at Great Shiplock Park (2803 Dock Street) and the Low Line Gardens. Some of our volunteers come every week, others come only when they can, as long as we know who to expect, and when, we are extremely flexible!
Volunteers work directly with our horticultural consultant and focus primarily on tasks like weeding, pruning, transplanting, and occasionally planting. No experience is required, we welcome seasoned gardeners as well as new garden enthusiasts, so it is a great opportunity to learn some gardening basics from a pro! Our horticultural consultant is on site to advise from 8:00 a.m. until noon, and volunteers can find a window within that time frame that works best for them.
If you want to join us on Wednesday mornings or have any questions please email [email protected] so we can schedule your first Wednesday for a brief training and official introduction to the gardens.
Occurring every few months, these are all-hands-on-deck events. Typically scheduled for two hours on select Saturday mornings, workdays will stretch from Great Shiplock Park all the way down the Low Line Gardens and focus on completing large scale garden tasks to prepare for the next season ahead.
Volunteers work directly with trained “horticultural leaders” so no gardening experience is required. It’s a great opportunity to dip your toe into gardening, learn some plant species, and to see, firsthand, how Capital Trees is making our city greener.
People of all ages, interests, and abilities are welcome to participate. We provide the tools, gloves, and expertise – all we need is your energy and enthusiasm! Physical activity such as bending, lifting, pulling and kneeling is required but we can do our best to modify tasks to suit individual needs. These volunteering events are entirely outdoors, so we encourage volunteers to dress for the weather and wear hats, sun protection, and bug-repellant as needed.
Community workdays are listed a month prior to the activity date through HandsOn Greater Richmond.
Private group workdays:
Local groups are a big part of our ongoing garden management and we would love to hear from you. If you have a work group, teammates, friends, or community organization you want to bring together for in-person interactions, team building, or just general volunteerism consider scheduling a private workday in one of our gardens!
Private workdays are typically scheduled on weekday mornings for two hours, but occasional weekends can be scheduled with enough notice. We do request that work groups have a minimum of 5 and no more than 30 participants.
We will provide the tools and gloves needed for a successful workday. The two hour window will include a brief introduction to the organization before getting started on the work. Groups are also welcome to request a free tour as part of, or in addition to, their time in the gardens.
Assist with garden tours.
Are you passionate about teaching on the importance of urban greenspaces in Richmond? Do you love discussing the benefits of native plantings, Richmond’s canal history, or even plant identification? Assisting with Capital Trees Tours might be a great fit!
We are always looking for folks who feel comfortable learning how to discuss the history of Capital Trees as well as additional information about the gardens. Currently, the time requirement is just a couple of hours at a time, and the dates are infrequent, happening a few times annually. If you are curious to learn more and sign up to lend a hand with our tours email [email protected].
Photograph the gardens.
We can’t be in the gardens every moment, but we know that there are beautiful angles, new insects, and blazing sunsets that we miss out on capturing! If you enjoy walking the Low Line and taking pictures, you can volunteer your time by taking photos of the gardens. We welcome photographers of all skill levels and ages.
Photos would be used primarily on social media with credit provided. Get in touch with us to learn more about this flexible opportunity.
Have a volunteer idea that doesn’t fit one of the criteria above? Not to worry! Contact us directly to discuss possible variations/ opportunities.