Volunteer Stewardship Projects
Volunteer stewardship is an important resource to our city and the trees that are being planted throughout the area. The more community involvement there is in caring for and watching over our trees the healthier the urban forest will become. We have many projects that individuals and groups can get plugged into all around Worcester. By working together we can ensure that Worcester remains a vibrant and verdant city.
More than 34,000 trees have been planted in the Worcester area in the past 10 years. Many of those are on private property, adopted by the homeowners and residents but thousands of them have been planted in public rights of way and parks.
The first way to help these young trees is to water them. If you live in front of a tree planted in the last few years, you can help to water those trees. Many of them have the green “Gator” Bags around them to help with that. All you have to do with those bags is fill them up once a week. If they are leaking or not emptying you can contact Derek at [email protected] and we will send someone out to replace the bag or assist with the watering.
We also need help watering trees planted in public parks. These planting projects are often the toughest to care for but they need love too. Here is a list of the parks where there are plants that need to be watered. If you live in the neighborhood or just want to get involved reach out to Derek at [email protected] We would be happy to provide you with more information.
Green Hill Park – WWI Memorial Grove
Knights of Columbus Park
West Boylston Street (Near Saint Gobain)
Eagle Statue Park
Don’t see a park in your neighborhood listed? Contact us and we can explore other options!
Weeding, Mulching, Etc.
As trees start to grow so to does other plan life around them. This can create competition for water, nutrients, and even sunlight if the other plants get tall enough. In order to keep our trees healthy and our landscape looking orderly we have to maintain the space around the trees. Pulling weeds and keeping mulch rings fresh is an essential practice whether it’s in a garden bed or around a tree and all of the street and park trees mentioned above are no exception.
If you like to spend time outside and get your hands a little dirty this is the job for you. Not so sure? Why not give it a try? It’s so rewarding to see your hard work literally transform the landscape around you. We are looking for individuals or groups willing to help with care for the park trees above or to become stewards of their neighborhood. If you want to get involved reach out to Derek for more information.
You can also consider giving it a try at a group work day which we schedule periodically throughout the year in various parks. You can find out when these work days are scheduled on our Upcoming Events page.
Tree Inventory Surveys
In addition to helping the newly planted trees to establish themselves we also are asking anyone that wants to learn about tree identification and health to join us for the Stewards in the Streets Tree Health Checks where we go out to gather information about the condition of the city’s street trees. We are recording how large the trees are, the state of their health, and confirming their species and location. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals and also groups to volunteer. WTI staff and experienced volunteers will help you to learn how to identify trees and assess their health so you can be confident in your work.
To find out when you can join us for a Tree Health Check check out our Upcoming Events page.
Master Tree Stewards Training Program
For those wishing to dive into a hands on project throughout the winter WTI hosts Tree Pruning Outings to maintain the young street trees. In order to participate in these events we require prospective volunteers to participate in the Master Tree Stewards Training Program, where they will learn and practice not only pruning techniques but receive a holistic education in tree stewardship. Topics include plant biology, soil health, diseases and pests of woody plants, planting, pruning, and an introduction to urban and community forestry.
This program provides an enriching foundation that will allow you not only to volunteer with the Tree Initiative, but become a better steward of your landscape. You will learn to look at the environment around you in a completely different way. For more information on becoming a Master Tree Steward (MTS) you can check out the MTS page using the button below.
Many thanks to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Urban and Community Forestry Program who awarded us a USDA Forest Service ‘Urban Challenge Grant’ which partially funded this program. We greatly appreciate their support in our endeavor.