Become a Volunteer

Ready to get your hands dirty?

Sign up to volunteer with UGC! Whether you want to help your community, learn more about growing food, gain experience in a particular area, or just want to get your hands in the soil, Urban Growers Collective offers opportunities for you to get in touch with the land. We could not do the work that we do without our incredible volunteers. Thank you for supporting our mission!

Volunteering FAQ

What are your Covid-19 protocols?

  • We are limiting the number of volunteers allowed on site per shift.
  • Only volunteers who have registered and signed our Waiver and Photo Release form prior to their shift will be allowed on site. (We’ll direct you to this form after you’ve signed up for your shift!)
  • Masks and gloves must be worn at all times while on site. Disposable masks are available as needed. Volunteers must bring their own gloves.
  • Hand washing and hand sanitizing stations are on site.
  • While on site, we ask that volunteers maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and others at all times.
  • Any volunteers who don’t adhere to these rules will be asked to leave immediately.

How early should I get to the farm?

Plan to arrive a few minutes before your shift begins. Please come on time because we begin our program promptly, and there’s a lot to be done!

What is the work like?

Farming is hard work! Depending on the season, you may be preparing beds, shifting compost, planting, harvesting, 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 the day.

What do I need to bring?

A face mask or covering, a water bottle filled with water; sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat if it’s sunny or rain gear if it’s stormy; and a snack. UGC will provide all the tools you’ll need to work. If you have a medical condition such as asthma or anaphylaxis, please bring your inhaler or epi-pen and inform your group leader of your condition before beginning work. We do have an apiary at our South Chicago farm, and there are many native bees around.

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

What should I wear?

All volunteers are required to wear face masks and gloves. Disposable masks will be provided if needed. Please also wear closed-toe shoes (absolutely no sandals or flip flops), clothes that you don’t mind getting really dirty (pants and long-sleeved shirts are recommended), and bring an extra layer and rain gear–just in case.

Do we still work if it rains?

Yes! We work when it rains. Our growers will call it if weather conditions are dangerous or not conducive for field work.

What if I can no longer make my shift?

That’s okay! Just let us know over at info@urbangrowerscollective.org as soon as possible so we can open up the slot for someone else.

Drop-In

We offer one-time volunteer shifts at our South Chicago and Roosevelt Square farms. Shifts are typically 2-3 hours long. Volunteers help with a variety of tasks, including prepping beds, weeding, seeding, and harvesting. All ages are welcome!

Recurring

If you would like to consistently support our work, sign up for a recurring volunteer shift! This is a month-long commitment that allows you to volunteer at the same farm at the same time each week. We ask that you commit to working all shifts for the month.

Specialized

Through consistent, hands-on experience, volunteers deepen their knowledge in a specific content area. These opportunities are for folks who have taken related workshops and are looking for more skill-based experiences. We ask that you commit to the full series.

Group

We occasionally offer group volunteer days for businesses or organizations who are interested in supporting our work. If your group is interested in volunteering with Urban Growers Collective, please send us an email!

*Due to Covid-19, we are limiting the number of volunteers on site at one time.

Drop-In Shifts

June 2021
July 2021
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Recurring Shifts

MONDAY
10 AM - 12 PM or 1 PM - 4 PM

July 5th
July 12th
July 19th
July 26th

TUESDAY
10 AM - 12 PM or 1 PM - 4 PM

July 6th
July 13th
July 20th
July 27th

WEDNESDAY
10 AM - 12 PM or 1 PM - 4 PM

July 7th
July 14th
July 21st
July 28th

THURSDAY
10 AM - 12 PM or 1 PM - 4 PM

July 8th
July 15th
July 22nd
July 29th

SATURDAY
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

July 10th
July 17th
July 24th
July 31st

SUNDAY
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

July 11th
July 18th
July 25th

Specialized Apprenticeships

These are hands-on “experiential” learning opportunities for individuals who have taken workshops or an orientation related to the content area and are seeking a more skill-based volunteer experience.Through consistent, hands-on experience, you will deepen your knowledge in a specific content area. We ask that you commit to the full series.

If you have not taken a related UGC workshop or orientation but are interested in a volunteer apprenticeship, please reach out to info@urbangrowerscollective.org to coordinate a time to onboard.

Beekeeping Apprenticeship

Learn alongside experienced beekeeper, Beatrice Kamau! After a brief review of bee biology and behavior, you’ll spend the bulk of your time in the hive inspecting bee brood, honey flow, bee “work,” and hive pests and diseases. You’ll help prepare the hives for summer honey production and maintain the pollinator garden on site. Participants should wear light colored pants, a long-sleeved shirt, socks, and closed-toed shoes. While protective gear will be provided while working on the hives, we encourage apprentices to invest in their own protective gear.

All hive checks will take place at our Altgeld Garden Pollinator Farm & Apiary, located at 1130 E 132nd Street, Chicago, IL 60827. Workdays will be cancelled or rescheduled in case of rain.

June

June 26th 2 PM-3PM: Hive Check

July

July 10th 2 PM-3 PM: Hive Check
July 24th – backup for inclement weather 

August

August 7th 2 PM-3PM – Hive Check
August 21st – backup for inclement weather 

September

September 4th 2 PM-3PM – Hive Check
September 18th – backup for inclement weather 

October & November

TBD – Honey Processing

Questions?

Reach out at info@urbangrowerscollective.org or (773) 376-8882.