Are you interested in sharing your garden skills, getting to know Cape Ann's other gardeners, and giving back to your community this year? Become a Garden Mentor!
What is a garden mentor?
The mentor program began in 2011 with our flagship program, the Backyard Garden Program. With a team of just one -- founder and current Executive Director Lara Lepionka -- Backyard Growers (BYG) needed help training all the new gardeners starting the program. Over the years, we have developed the mentor program into a more holistic volunteer opportunity that allows mentors work with our backyard gardeners, our community gardeners, or with one of our partner gardens. Mentors are encouraged to be involved in the entire program process- from distributing the seeds and seedlings to helping harvest!
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
BYG garden mentors allow 10 backyard garden and 40 community garden families each year become life-long gardeners, inspired by the power of growing their own food.
Who is a garden mentor?
A garden mentor is a gardener, a trainer, a volunteer, and an invaluable part of the Backyard Growers team. To be a mentor, you must be over 18 and have experience gardening or farming. Mentors should be a part of the Cape Ann community and committed to helping ensure access to fresh vegetables for community members in Cape Ann.
The garden mentor program is a 10 month, February-November, volunteer commitment. Mentors will be involved in garden trainings, building garden beds, growing and distributing seedlings, leading community workshops to build skills, and maintaining community and school gardens. While some parts are flexible, we ask mentors to commit to the following:
- Mandatory Mentor Training - Thursday, March 15, 6-8 pm - 2 hours
- Mandatory Garden Training for Program Participants - Saturday March 24, 8 am - 12 pm - 4 hours
- Garden Bed Build and Fill Day - April 5, 6, OR 7 - 4 hours
- Spring Seedling Distribution - Saturday, April 22 - 4 hours
- Summer Seedling Distribution - TBD - 2 hours
- Participant Engagement - Monthly May-October - 5 hours total
- 3 Community Workshops* - Tues/Thurs in March- October - 9 hours total
- Community Garden Maintenance* - May-October (flexible) - 10 hours total
*If you are a parent or guardian of a child in Gloucester Public Schools, you can choose to help at gardens and events at the schools
DON'T FEEL QUALIFIED TO BE A Mentor, But want to be involved?
No worries! There are many ways to get involved with Backyard Growers. Contact our volunteer manager for details!