Volunteer Task Descriptions

Volunteer Task Descriptions

Opening Day Volunteers 

2-3 Volunteers

  • Set-up hose hangers (irrigation maintenance volunteer usually sets up the hoses)
  • Rake residual poplar leaves and bag them. Pick up twigs and garbage.
  • Set out hand tools on shelving unit.
  • Remove garbage can and wheelbarrow from shed.
  • Move bags of dry leaves from inside shed to along left side of shed. These will be used by the compost team. Cover bags with narrow red tarp (in shed) and anchor tarp with bricks.
  • Cut grass and weed whack, if necessary.


New Gardener Orientation

2 volunteers  

  • Meet with the new garden members and show them around.
  • Talk about what grows well in the WR community gardens (based on what you’ve seen).
  • Answer questions
  • (We have developed handouts to guide the orientation)


Upgrade Team  – Includes ALL garden members

Plot repairs may be required in Spring or Fall.

  • One or two repair dates PRIOR TO opening. Plots may not be planted until all repairs have been done.
  • Groups of two will be assigned to a plot.
  • TASK: Remove soil from edge(s) where repair is needed. Add new support pieces, new board(s), shift soil back.

 Plot reconstruction. One or two plots may be rebuilt per season. 6-10 volunteers.

  • Duration of commitment unknown (estimated work sessions over 2-3 day period).
  • TASK: remove soil entirely from plot, disassemble plot and take debris to dumpster. Build plot. Return soil to plot after construction.
  • If we are able to arrange outside builder, we will provide a little assistance (debris to dumpster, stacking burnable lumber near fence).


Grass Cutting

Our garden season is about 21 weeks.

22 volunteers

  • Each plot renter will be assigned grass cutting for one week during our season. If you are physically unable to do this task, please leave a note on the sign-up form. We should have enough gardeners to cover all 21 weeks, plus the end-of-season cut.
  • If you know your vacation plans, please write your away dates on sign-up form.
  • Scheduler will develop a 21-week rotation, and send first draft to group. Please reply ASAP if your assigned week doesn’t work. A final schedule will be sent out. Once schedule is set, contact other grass cutting volunteers to arrange to switch dates.
  • TASK: Whenever possible, cut grass Sunday or Monday so that next volunteer will cut grass 6-7 days later.
  • Grass cutting will take up to 3 hours.
  • Do not use the grass collection bag on the mower. Leave the cut grass on the lawn.
  • Weed whacking is a separate task.
  • If any mower maintenance / gasoline is needed, please contact the gas/mower/tool maintenance coordinator.


Weed Whacking

12 volunteers

This is a separate task from grass cutting. Our objective: lighten grass cutting load and keep the gardens tidy.

  • This task is scheduled EVERY OTHER week.
  • Weed whacking is a task for those tall enough to handle weed whackers. (Not an easy job for shorter individuals.)
  • Each volunteer will weed whack once during the season (twice if we are low on volunteers).
  • Scheduler will develop a 21-week rotation and send first draft to group. Please reply ASAP if your assigned week doesn’t work. A final schedule will be sent out. Once schedule is set, contact other weed whacking volunteers to arrange to switch dates.
  • Whenever possible, weed whack Sunday or Monday to coincide with grass cutting schedule.


  • TASK: Weed whack around all 40 plots and the patio. ALSO trim around interior and exterior perimeter of fence.
  • Trim close to the ground so that the gardens look tidy between weed whacking dates (two week intervals).

Compost Team

16 volunteers (paired in teams, plus single/individuals where needed)

1 coordinator is needed

  • Scheduler develops teams (A-H) and a rotation. Teams are assembled based on 2 time frames:  Monday / Wednesday morning (9 a.m.) or Tuesday / Thursday evening (7 p.m.)
  • Individual volunteers are also added to this roster and paired with two-member teams where needed.
  • Scheduler will develop a 21-week rotation and send first draft to group. Please reply ASAP if your assigned week doesn’t work. Once schedule is set, contact other compost team volunteers to arrange to switch dates.
  • You can expect 2 to 4 turning dates during the season, based on your plot rental(s) and our volunteer base.
  • TASK: Compost turning is done in teams of 2 to 4 persons. Task time ranges in duration from 1/2 hour up to 1 hour (May and September dates tend to take longest).
  • Compost bins 2 & 3 are turned once per week during May, June and September; once every other week during July and August. Finished compost (right bin) is divided and distributed in May.
  • Greens get added to Greens bin (left) all season. Chop these greens and mix them into Working bin (centre bin 2).
  • Compost volunteers are responsible for taking full garbage bags to community centre dumpster.
  • Final compost date (included in schedule) is 1 week after garden closure. Closing day is September 30.


Gas / Mower / Tool Maintenance

1 volunteer

  • Check lawn mower and weed whackers regularly. Fill with gas or new line, as needed.
  • Sharpen lawn mower blade(s) twice per season
  • Purchase weed whacker line as needed.
  • Refill gas can as needed.
  • Present receipts for gas, line, repairs to WR office for reimbursement.
  • Take lawn mower or weed whacker to repair shop if repair is needed.


Irrigation Maintenance  

1 volunteer

Nozzle use is personal preference. Plants sprayed from above (wet leaves) promotes powdery mildew and disease.
To reduce mildew, water at ground level and avoid wetting leaves.

  • Opening day (TBA) – hook up hoses. Attach hoses with wrenches and tighten fairly well (so that they are not removable during the season).
  • Check hoses regularly for leaks and repair or replace as needed.
  • If water line requires repair contact the WR office.
  • Closing day (September 30) – Remove, drain, coil and store hoses in shed. (Wrench is needed for to remove hoses.) See photo for hose placement in shed.
  • Present receipts for purchases, outside repairs, or replacement to WR office for reimbursement.


Herb / Strawberry Patch Gardener

4 volunteers

The herb and strawberry patch share plot 40.

  • As a group, divide tasks.
  • Sow and label rows of annual herbs (basil, parsley, dill, tarragon, cilantro).
  • Purchase a few annual herbs for the plot (rosemary, culinary thyme, sage, lemon balm).
  • This season: plans for strawberry patch TBA
  • Tend, weed and water plot 40.
  • Present receipts of plant and seed purchases to WR office for reimbursement.



Entrance or Perennial Bed Gardener

2-4 volunteers – assigned to tend either North Entrance or the Perennial Bed

Entrance tasks

  • Plant a few annuals flanking the north gate of the garden.
  • Water, weed, trim grass the entrance area as needed.
  • At end of season, remove annuals and compost them. (Leave the 3 perennial clematis standing.)

 Perennial Bed tasks

  • Water and weed the perennial beds, as needed (water weekly if no rain).
  • Weed patio area.
  • At end of season, but back perennials. Throw seed heads, peony and phlox foliage in garbage. Compost foliage (except peony and phlox).


Donation Bed(s)

6 volunteers

  • Two (2) volunteers prepare the soil and sow our donation plot(s) – mid May.
  • Each volunteer is assigned to tend (water, thin seedlings and weed) the plot one (1) month.
  • Plots determined to be abandoned (not sown by June 1) will be sown and tended by this group.
  • All 6 volunteers convene during chosen date in September to harvest plot and arrange delivery to food banks.


Closing Team

2-3 volunteers

See photos of winter shed interior.

  • Centre of shed floor must stay clear for storage of dry leaves during winter (next year’s compost use).
  • Remove and store hose hangers (Irrigation Maintenance volunteer will help take down/drain/roll hoses)
  • Clean tools, store in shed
  • Hang shovels, rakes, forks on wall; store hand tools on back wall shelves in trugs / rubber baskets
  • Store weed whackers and lawnmowers along right wall inside shed
  • Discard broken plant supports and tools
  • Rake leaves / pick up twigs & bag them. We ask gardeners to take a bag of leaves home to their green bin. Frank McCool Arena no longer accepts leaves.
  • Wheelbarrow and garbage can are last items put in shed
  • Take garbage bag to dumpster
  • If closing day weather forecast is miserable (September 30), arrange another day to do closing tasks.


Membership / Communications / Board Liaison

  • Promote community gardens; assist new gardeners with sign-up as needed; answer questions year round.
  • Liaise with WRCA Board of Directors and Staff
  • Help prepare and maintain/manage community garden budget
  • Allocate plots to gardeners in an equitable way, keeping with mandate of WRCA.
  • Overall community garden organization


Communications Liaison

3 volunteers

Position 1.

  • Email liaison (wrveggie address) between Colleen, other coordinators and the community garden group
  • Forward enquiries from gardeners to the appropriate person(s)
  • Forward notices from Task Coordinators to garden community
  • Compile notices from Colleen and task coordinators and send to the group as needed (frequently during May, approx. once per month June thru September)


Position 2.

  • Develop schedule for compost team
  • Manage emails between compost coordinator and compost team.


Position 3.

  • Develop schedule for grass cutting and weed whacking teams
  • Manage emails for grass cutting and weed whacking teams.

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