City Cast

The Best Outdoor Volunteering

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on May 23   |   Updated on June 28
Mushroom planting at the Temperance Ally Garden (tempgardendc/Instagram)

Mushroom planting at the Temperance Ally Garden (tempgardendc/Instagram)

Being city dwellers, we don’t have many opportunities to literally get our hands dirty, but it’s a great way to help your community, meet friends, and get grounded. Here are some of the best gardens and parks to get started.

Temperance Ally Garden:
This community garden space is hidden behind U Street and hosts everything from yoga to concerts. But they need volunteers to tend to the shared crops. You can join as a member or go to one-off volunteering events.

Cultivate the City: These gardens throughout D.C. (including in Nats Stadium!) give food back to the community through a CSA, which also funds school programs. You can apply to volunteer with planting and harvesting or take any of their urban gardening classes.

District Cleanups: This org hosts regular community cleanups that all end with a social gathering. They’re a blast.

Rock Creek Conservancy: If, like me, you would lay down your life for Rock Creek Park, then look no further. This non-profit hosts cleanups and invasive species removal, but you can also monitor water quality or become a self-proclaimed weed warrior.

  • Coming up: They have oasis restorations going on all this weekend and next (Rock Creek Park).

City Blossoms: While this program focuses mostly on kid-driven events and learning, anyone can help volunteer at their gardens across the District. Drop in for a day doing seasonal maintenance or sign up for a longer-term commitment.

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