It started almost a year ago. Last spring my sister and I excitedly brought home a peony plant from the local nursery. We decided it’s home would be a large planter right next to the front door and followed the gardeners planting instructions.
“You should have some blooms in a week or two,” the gardener assured us.
We giddily inspected it each day for any signs of growth. When the peony plant finally sprouted a few branches we couldn’t help but dream of the beautiful, pink blooms that would follow. Sadly, we were disappointed then the already weak limbs began to shrivel up and turn black. They’ve been that way ever since.
Those same pathetic black branches caught my attention yesterday afternoon as I fumbled at the front door with my house keys. Rather, it was what I thought I saw beyond those pathetic black branches that caught my attention. Past the branches to the base of the plant, I managed to make out the small beginnings of new branches!
It was official: spring was almost here! Sure, I’ll admit that my excitement might be a little premature….just a little.
Either way, it is almost time to at least start planting seeds. However, the garden is not the only area that could use some preparation. With spring on the horizon that means a whole slew of outdoor ways to give back will soon become available.
Before spring is in full swing, start considering these spring volunteering ideas to help out your community after the bitterness of a long winter.
Work in Your Community Garden
Particularly in urban areas, a community garden is a space where residents of a neighborhood can grow fresh produce and other plants where space is limited (there’s only so much you can fit on an apartment balcony!). Community gardens are always looking for volunteers to pull weeds, direct gardening classes and everything in between. If you’re really feeling brave, get yourself a plot and get your hands dirty! You can give away excess or use it to trade with your fellow gardeners.
Beautify Your Neighborhood
Life is just more pleasant when we’re surrounded by beauty. Check if your city or town has a neighborhood/park/river clean-up day or an “adopt a planter” program. A local horticultural or botany organization might also have meetings dedicated to disposing of invasive species that harm other plants.
Sign up for a Home Building Project
Spring is the perfect time to get involved with a building project for needy families. Planning ahead is a must! Browse the Habitat for Humanity site for local projects and get a group of friends, classmates or coworkers together.
Volunteer at a Nature Center
If you are fortunate enough to have a nature center in your area, see if they need volunteers. If there is a trail network, they may also be looking for help restoring them.