Become A Volunteer


*** Volunteering is on hold until Shelter in Place is lifted. Please refer back when restrictions have been lifted to see when we are back in action!

Ready to get your hands dirty?

Whether you want to help your community, learn more about growing food, or just want to get your hands in the soil, Urban Growers Collective offers opportunities for individuals and groups to get in touch with the land. Many different types of volunteer opportunities exist, from farming to graphic design. If you have a skill that you think might be useful, please speak up and we’ll put you to work.

Come visit our South Chicago Farm! Work may include moving woodchips or compost, sifting worm castings, tending crops, harvesting, and general maintenance. Volunteers are welcome during the following dates and times:

Volunteer times:
10am-2pm every Saturday, April through October ** Please see note above

9000 S. Mackinaw Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617 (90th Street & Mackinaw Avenue)

To schedule groups of 10 or more, please email, or call 773-376-8882.

For your first time volunteering at the South Chicago Farm, please arrive at 10:00 am on Saturday for volunteer orientation. After you have attended orientation, you are free to arrive whenever you want and stay as long as you’d like during volunteer hours during the season. Please bring a water bottle and dress for the weather. We also recommend bringing a friend or two!

Thank you to the numerous volunteers who help UGC accomplish our work. We couldn’t do it with out your support!

All volunteers must fill out a liability waiver before they may work. Please download a copy here: Waiver and Photo Release.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How early should I get to the farm?

All individuals or groups should arrive on site at or before their scheduled time. Please come on time as we begin our program promptly and need to start working. At arrival, we will have your group sign our volunteer ledger. Then we will tell you briefly about the project and divide up, if needed, to begin the day’s tasks.

What is the work like?

Farming is hard work. Depending on the season, you may be preparing beds, shifting compost, planting, harvesting, tending vegetables or cleaning up the land. We work rain or shine so please come prepared for the weather. Expect to get your hands and clothes dirty by the end of day.

What do I need to wear and bring?

  • Closed toe shoes (absolutely no sandals or flip flops)
  • Water bottle filled with water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Work gloves (if you want them)
  • Rain gear (depending on weather).

We will supply all the tools you will need to work. If you have a medical condition such as asthma or anaphylaxis, please bring your inhaler or epi-pen and tell your group leader of your condition before working in the field. We do have an apiary at the farm, as well as other native bees.

What do I wear when working on the land?

Long pants and shirts are recommended for farm work. Close-toed shoes are required because you may be working with sharp tools. Keep in mind that you will get dirty and be prepared for warm, cold, or wet weather. Bring extra layers and rain gear so that you are comfortable working in most weather conditions. A box of garbage bags is a good item to bring in case people in your group don’t bring rain gear.

Do we still work when it rains?

Yes, we work when it rains. The grower will tell staff and group leaders to stop working when weather conditions are not conducive for fieldwork.

What about lunch and water?

Please feel free to bring a picnic lunch. You should bring enough water to get you through your work commitment.

Please Note:

DO NOT bring personal items with you to the farm. We do not have storage on site for personal items, and will not take responsibility for your belongings. If you bring personal belongings, such as phones, wallets, etc., you do so at your own risk.

Service Learning:

We love working with students interested in environmental stewardship and can accommodate service-learning students to help youth complete their community service commitment.”

Give us a call at 773.376.8882 or email

Thank you for supporting Urban Growers Collective.

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