What is a Volunteer Supervisor?
As mentioned, Volunteer Supervisors lead, motivate, and educate small groups of volunteers at Great River Greening’s volunteer events. They’re the gears of our events and the faces of Great River Greening to the general public!
Volunteer Supervisors are from all types of backgrounds, have varied experience levels, and range in age from under 20 to over 80!
How do I join the team?
Our Volunteer Supervisors tell us it’s tremendously satisfying to help others learn about the environment while making tangible improvements to our urban landscape. Anyone is welcome to join our Volunteer Supervisor Team, but a training is required.
- excellent communication skills
- ability to work outdoors and use gardening and similar tools
- a team player; enjoys working with others
- can effectively work with people of diverse backgrounds and ages
- cares about the environment
- respectful, patient, and sincere
- may have prior knowledge of conservation, restoration, or related fields
- Want to lead volunteers of all ages to restore landscapes at our public and private/corporate events? Then you’ll want to take the Restoration Programs training.
- Want to lead educational and restoration activities with middle and high school aged youth? Then you should take the School Programs training.
- You’re not limited to taking only one or the other! Feel free to attend both trainings to qualify as a Supervisor at both types of events.
The training covers:
- Mission and vision of Great River Greening
- Description and goals of the volunteer program (public and corporate or Field Learning for Teens)
- The roles and responsibilities of the Volunteer Supervisor
- Small group discussions and scenario work
This training is held indoors (lecture and small group discussion) and covers basic Great River Greening history, general details on public and corporate events, Supervisor role and expectations at these events, and tips and discussions on working with and leading volunteers.
More about the Field Learning for Teens Program >
This training is offered in two parts:
Part 1 is held in a lecture and small-group style and covers basic Great River Greening history, goals of FLT program, general details on FLT events, Supervisor role and expectations at these events, and best practices for working with/leading teens. Completing Part 1 of the School Programs training qualifies you to lead restoration activities at FLT events. If you wish to lead the other environmental science activities at FLT events, you’ll need to also take Part 2 of this training.
Part 2 is held outdoors at a GRG project site during the active growing months (June to September). In this setting, you’ll learn from GRG staff and occasionally from experienced Supervisors. This training covers: hands-on training of all educational activities at FLT events (including water quality chemistry testing, macroinvertebrate sampling, GPS units/geocaching, and more) and conversations on best practices for leading discussions on these activities with youth.
What is required?
- Attend pre-event training with Great River Greening Ecologist (takes place on site, one hour before each event)
- Give a site orientation and share the significance of the work to be completed
- Conduct easy to follow, accurate training on how to complete restoration tasks – focusing on safe and proper use of tools and best techniques (especially in helping plants to survive)
- Be a safety watchdog! Ensure volunteers use proper techniques throughout event.
- Ensure work is completed in a manner that meets Greening’s high-quality standards
- Keep volunteers motivated!
- Where possible, facilitate open discussion about restoration tasks and/or direct questions to Greening staff
Per event: Timelines differ event to event, but typically a Volunteer Supervisor can plan to spend four to five hours on site with us – training with Greening Ecologists, leading a group of volunteers in the field, and sometimes sticking around for lunch afterward!
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions webpage for further details and to learn how to complete your background screening.
Links and Resources
- General: Pro Tips
- Geocaching – Lesson Plan
- Geocaching – GPS Unit User Guide
- Insect Biodiversity – Lesson Plan
- Water Quality Chemistry – Lesson Plan
- Water Quality Chemistry – Instructions
- Water Quality Chemistry – Parameter Descriptions and Prompts
- Water Quality Macroinvertebrates – Lesson Plan
- Water Quality Macroinvertebrates – Key (PTI)
We do ask you to bring: proper clothing and footwear and a re-useable water bottle/thermos if you have one. We typically suggest long pants and sturdy, closed-toed shoes for all weather types – even if it’s hot out, we might be working in areas with thorny plants, poison ivy, etc. and it’s best to set a good example for volunteers.
Do I need to do anything? The only reason you would need to take any action is if you plan to be a Supervisor at Field Learning for Teens events. All Supervisors, new to the FLT program or well versed, will be required to take Part 1 of the School Programs training. You may be able to prove your qualifications for Part 2 without attending the training. To see if you’re eligible, talk with Amy Kilgore, Outreach Program Manager. What might make one eligible to omit Part 2 training? Demonstrated prior experience in the subject matter of the FLT activities and specifically with the tools that Great River Greening uses.
Questions? Contact Amy Kilgore at (651) 272-3989 or firstname.lastname@example.org.