The AmeriCorps*VISTA worked alongside the Orchard Steward Coordinator to create a schedule of monthly work parties that will take place at any of the 14 parks City Fruit stewards. Depending on the season, tasks can range from digging tree circles and mulching them to prevent weeds, to a harvest celebration and apple-pressing event. The VISTA determined the site needs and will then recruit a number of volunteers using various outreach mechanisms. Such volunteer recruitment methods for orchard steward work parties include: Volunteer Match, Seattle Works, Idealist, Microsoft’s Volunteer Manager, a number of organizations, businesses, and schools City Fruit worked with in 2014, City Fruit social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), City Fruit newsletters, and City Fruit Volunteer Newsletters. As always, timing and planning is of the essence. Remember that aside from planning, there will also be a couple hours of work to set up the information in volunteers for Salesforce so that volunteers can recruit online.
City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees. Our programs include harvesting unwanted fruit from private properties, stewarding and harvesting public orchards, training orchard stewards, and delivering the thousands of pounds of gleaned fruit to organizations who can distribute it to people who need it most: food banks, senior centers, homeless shelters, low-income housing programs, lunch programs, daycares and more.