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Volunteer

Rooted in community, branching out to others.
Casey Trees and our volunteers believe in the value of trees. We invest time and effort to create what we envision for the future — a healthy tree canopy in the nation’s capital.

Volunteers provide muscle, skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm for tree plantings; advocacy for the urban tree canopy; and education to fellow citizens about the benefits of trees.

For people of all ages and abilities, we offer practical skills and knowledge, fun opportunities, and a chance to actively improve communities as we create a lasting legacy.

Upcoming Volunteer Events »

If you represent a group (5+ people), complete the Group Volunteer Information Form and we will contact you to discuss potential volunteer opportunities.


Volunteer Roles

Tree Planting Volunteer

Since 2002, our flagship Community Tree Planting program has helped add more than 20,000 trees to private residential and commercial property across D.C. We typically organize 15 plantings every fall (October – December) and spring (March – May).

Upcoming Tree Plantings » – Fall 2015 Opportunities will be posted on August 21.

Tree Planting Registration Volunteer

Purpose:
Support Casey Trees staff on planting morning by helping set up registration and register volunteers as they arrive. Registration volunteers may also sign up to volunteer to plant trees or to serve as a Team Leader at the planting if qualified.

Key Responsibilities:
1. Assist in erecting registration station at the planting site, including laying out materials and breakfast items.
2. Greet arriving volunteers, collect signed waivers and check volunteers into Eventbrite system using Casey Trees equipment.

Skills Needed:
1. A friendly demeanor.
2. Ability to thrive in fast-paced environment

Reports To: Volunteer Coordinator
Schedule: 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM on Saturday mornings.
Time Commitment: 1 hour on Saturday planting mornings of your choosing.
Age: Must be at least 18 years old.


Tree Care Volunteer

Purpose
The goal of the Tree Care Events is for volunteers to help water, weed, and mulch the trees that Casey Trees planted through our Community Tree Planting program. The District of Columbia set a 40% tree canopy goal by 2035. To obtain this goal trees that we plant must be cared for – especially those that have been in the ground less than three years. In addition to our weekend and evening summer opportunities, we can schedule weekday tree care events for groups in the summer months and during National Volunteer week.

Qualifications:
A willingness to get dirty to help enhance the tree canopy

Key Responsibilities:
Weed around the base of recently planted trees.

Add mulch and other soil amendments when necessary following Casey Trees guidelines. 3. Water trees with 5-gallon buckets

Benefits:
1. A wonderful opportunity to travel to all four corners of the District.
2. A great way to meet amazing people from all walks of life.
3. Promote the health and environmental benefits of trees.
4. Build stronger and more sustainable communities.

What to expect at a Tree Care Event?
Tree Care events can be held during the week or on Saturday mornings.

All volunteers meet at the pre-determined site. This information will be emailed ahead of time. All volunteers must check-in with Casey Trees staff at the beginning of the event to sign volunteer waivers, get assigned to teams, make name tags and pick up safety vests, gloves and other necessary tools.

The work done at the Tree Care Event will be based on the specific needs of the site. The volunteer’s work may included but is not limited to weeding, mulching, pruning, watering, pulling invasive plants and picking up trash.


Citizen Scientist – Phenology Monitoring

Purpose:
Citizen scientists participating in phenology monitoring regularly observe tree specimens to record the timing of seasonal events such as leaf out, fruiting, fall color and leaf drop. These observations contribute to a growing data set demonstrating how trees are responding to weather and climate. In the long term this citizen scientist collected data will be used to inform Casey Trees’ organizational practices and advance the field of urban forestry as we learn how the species in our area are responding to climate variability and, over the long-term, to climate change.

Qualifications:
A citizen scientist for phenology monitoring has attended a training session, typically offered in the fall and spring, to familiarize themselves with the project’s monitoring protocol and has subsequently committed to monitor their chosen tree(s) 2-4 times a week, especially in the spring and fall seasons, when things are changing rapidly. No research or scientific background required!

Key Responsibilities:
1. Commits to following the established monitoring protocol and monitor chosen tree(s) 2-4 times a week.
2. Enters observation data online in a timely fashion.

Benefits:
1. A wonderful opportunity to contribute to a national data set of phenology that will be used to help inform Casey Trees practices and further the field of urban forestry.

2. A great way to become more attuned to the subtle seasonal changes that trees undergo and witness how these changes are tied to weather and climate.

3. Promote interest and research in DC’s urban forest and the challenges facing the District’s trees.

Reports To: Community Education Coordinator
Time Commitment: Citizen scientists are asked to monitor their chosen tree(s) 2-4 times a week, especially in the spring and fall seasons, when things are changing rapidly.
Age: No age requirement.


Citizen Forester Team Leader

Purpose:
Citizen Foresters Team Leaders (TL) are one of our most important volunteer roles as they help teach our volunteers how to plant trees and work together as a team at our Community Tree Plantings. A TL gets to interact socially with other individuals who share a similar interest in and appreciation for trees, be introduced to new neighborhoods during tree planting and care events, gain hands on urban forestry experience, and experience a sense of accomplishment for making the District more green.

Qualifications:
A Citizen Forester Team Leader has taken the Tree Planting Workshop and has attended two Community Tree Plantings (CTPs) working with a mentor.

Key Responsibilities:
1. Commits to guiding small groups of volunteers at planting events during the planting season following the latest Casey Trees approved best management practices.
2. Ensures that team members are engaged and active.
3. Acts as an ambassador for Casey Trees.

Benefits:
1. A wonderful opportunity to travel to all four corners of the District.
2. A great way to meet amazing people from all walks of life.
3. Promote the health and environmental benefits of trees.
4. Build stronger and more sustainable communities.

Reports To: Volunteer Coordinator
Time Commitment: Saturdays during the fall and spring, 8:15 am – 1:00 pm
Age: Must be at least 18 years old.
Disclaimer: Community Tree Plantings are subject to change (time, location, etc.). Casey Trees will contact all registered volunteers if changes do occur.


Tree Advocate

Purpose:
Casey Trees’ mission is “to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital,” but we can’t do it alone.  Local policymakers want to hear directly from District residents, so successful, game-changing advocacy starts with you. The Tree Advocate program offers you the opportunity to meet fellow tree lovers and advocates, share experiences and ideas and learn strategies to help you engage with the District’s top decision-makers.

Become a Tree Advocate:
Amplify your voice by becoming a Tree Advocate! Our program is designed to develop a network of trained volunteers ready to stand up for trees in their neighborhood and across the city.  Offering expertise and resources, Casey Trees help volunteers connect with city leaders and other residents to push for change in their communities. Our most committed advocacy volunteers will earn the distinction of becoming an official Tree Advocate.

There are three steps to becoming a Tree Advocate:

  • Participate in Stand Up for Trees
  • Attend two Tree Advocates meetings
  • Participate in four advocacy actions

All Tree Advocates receive special recognition for completing the program. For more information on becoming a Tree Advocate or to attend a meeting, contact us at advocacy@caseytrees.org.

What are Advocacy Actions?

Advocacy actions are opportunities to engage policymakers and other key leaders in your community about issues affecting trees. Many advocacy actions also provide a chance to meet and collaborate with other concerned residents. Advocacy actions include:

  • Casey Trees’ Lobby Days: Offered 3 times a year, Casey Trees’ staff and volunteers meet with key decision-makers to promote D.C.’s urban forest
  • Attending local ANC meetings, community hearings, and other District agency meetings to promote trees in development projects
  • Attending public workshops hosted by councilmembers, District agency leaders, and neighborhood organizations to fight for a vibrant urban forest
  • Submitting comments to address development projects or policies in the District

Being a Tree Advocate is not required to participate in advocacy actions.  For more tips on how to advocate for trees, visit our Advocacy Action Center.