Volunteer Resources

March 2013 - Jackson Bottom Hillsboro
photo: Keith Nevison

Thank you for your interest in Friends of Trees!

Here are many useful resources to make your volunteer experience with Friends of Trees as enjoyable and convenient as possible.

 

Planting event calendar :: 2013-2014

Our planting season calendars have been finalized.  More than 70 public planting events are scheduled between October 2013 - May 2014 in our Neighborhood Trees and Green Space Initiative programs.  You can find all of our events, with Google Map links, in our online calendar.  

Group Registration

Friends of Trees planting events are excellent ways for groups to learn team-building skills, have fun together and give back to the community.  We encourage groups of more than 5 to let us know when they plan to attend a weekend event. This helps us plan accordingly and makes a more successful and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Register your group for planting events using this link:  Group Registration Form

We love groups!  However, please note that it is important in our Neighborhood Trees program to have an even distribution of volunteers on each crew.  This means that it is quite likely that we'll need your group to split up into groups of 3-4 people each.  This ensures a high quality experience for all of our volunteers and is a necessary component of success for us.  If this will not work for you at all, please consider a Green Space Initiative event instead.  Thanks in advance for your understanding!

 

Volunteer Rights & Responsibilities

All of our volunteers can expect certain things from their volunteer experience with Friends of Trees. In return, Friends of Trees has certain expectations of every volunteer. We encourage everyone to become familiar with these. Thanks!

Our volunteers have the right to:

- Be provided with an introduction to Friends of Trees, the staff members, and the facilities
- Be treated as an individual whose time and input is valued by the organization
- Participate in crafting a well-defined role with clear expectations
- Receive training/education for their tasks and be given an explanation of how this work contributes to the larger mission for Friends of Trees
- Receive ongoing feedback about their work and a person to whom they can direct questions and receive support
- Be given flexibility to integrate their volunteer work schedule into their personal schedule
- Learn about Friends of Trees, its mission, and its programs
- Be given the opportunity for varied experiences
- Be provided with a safe working environment
- Protection from liability, harassment, and other workplace concerns
- Request a re-evaluation of their role/task if and when they would like to change

Our volunteers have the responsibility to:

- Be sincere in their offer of service to Friends of Trees
- Carry out their work reliably and to the best of their ability
- Contact Friends of Trees with any scheduling changes
- Be willing to participate in orientation and training
- Accept the guidance and decisions of the Friends of Trees staff
- Represent Friends of Trees to the best of their abilities when working with the public as a volunteer
- Stay within the bounds of the job description, unless otherwise asked
- Ask for help when needed
- Be realistic about their time commitment to the volunteer role

Carpooling: GSI Plantings

Many of our Green Space Initiative plantings are outside the reach of public transportation options. We encourage volunteers to carpool to these plantings. Metro's Drive Less Connect program makes it easy for anyone to carpool. Once you register with the site, you can post ride needs and availabilities for any listed Friends of Trees event. Need help? Have questions? Please contact Andy or Jenny at 503-595-0213 or download this summary page (.pdf) for all you need to know.

How to Dress for a Planting

Spending a Saturday morning planting or caring for trees is an excellent way to get fresh air and exercise while making a contribution to your community.

Our planting season runs from October through April, when trees are dormant and the abundant rain helps them get firmly established. Summer is the time to water, weed, and mulch our trees.

Though fall and winter mornings can be chilly, after a few hours of planting, you may get warm. We recommend that you dress in layers. Waterproof outerwear is ideal. Of course, you’ll be digging in dirt and handling mulch, so please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Friends of Trees provides adult-sized gloves to wear for the event, and we recommend wearing sturdy shoes.

Our blog, Growth Rings, also offers some fun tips for proper attire.

Inclement Weather Notification

Our temperate winter climate is perfect for transplanting and growing trees, but sometimes we do have to deal with snow and/or ice conditions on planting day. We don't want to put our volunteers at risk traveling to and from plantings in these conditions, so when you have a question about whether the weather is causing unsafe road conditions, please call our Volunteer Hotline at 503-595-0213 by 7:30 am on planting day. If the messages do not indicate cancellations, we're moving forward with getting trees in the ground that day.

Service Learning Hours

Volunteering with Friends of Trees is an excellent way to satisfy your school or organization's service learning hours requirements. Our planting events run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and occur almost every Saturday from October through April. We hope you and your friends will join us to have fun planting trees and completing your hours.

Please note that we are unable to write/send notes, letters or emails to verify hours attended. Please arrive at least ten minutes prior to the start of the planting to sign in and submit a completed waiver. (See below for waiver requirements for volunteers under the age of 18.) At the completion of the planting, a Friends of Trees staff member will be happy to sign something on your behalf, so please make sure to bring the letter, form, or other document that you use to track hours to the planting.

Youth Volunteers: Waiver Requirement

We welcome volunteers under the age of 18 at all of our plantings.

However, if you choose to attend a planting without a parent or guardian, your parent or guardian must sign a youth waiver for you in advance. Please bring the waiver with you to the planting. Please note that you will not be able to plant, weed, or mulch if you don't have a signed waiver.

Also, if you are under the age of 15 and want to bring classmates with you, please ensure that you have one parent or guardian for every five students in your group.

Please click HERE to download and print a youth waiver to sign in advance. Just make sure to leave it with us at the start of the planting!

TreeMail

Interested in volunteering with Friends of Trees? If you sign up for our e-newsletter TreeMail, we can update you on Friends of Trees events. Your personal information will not be shared with or sold to any organizations, businesses, or other third parties.

Contact Volunteer and Outreach Staff

If you still have questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to email Jenny Bedell-Stiles or Ian Bonham in the Volunteer & Outreach Program.  You can also reach us at 503-595-0213.

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