Volunteer Spotlight: Martha & the Neighborhood Coordinator role

As part of our series shining the spotlight on some folks who make all this community tree planting possible, here’s Martha, a Neighborhood Coordinator!

Martha Irvinve (She/Her, second from right) volunteers as a Neighborhood Coordinator, which is a crucial volunteer role in a typical season. NCs work closely with staff members to help answer questions from tree recipients, create outreach strategies, and they help organize the annual neighborhood planting day.

Martha has been NCing and helping FOT prep for planting events for about nine years now; she shares a little about her experience:

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with Friends of Trees?

A: I’ve been volunteering in various capacities for a wide variety of organizations since my Girl Scout days. I fell in love with volunteering for Friends of Trees because the results of our efforts are so tangible. Also, FOT has a clear vision of what it wants/needs from its volunteers so I always felt productive. Previously, with other organizations, I have had the experience of showing up to volunteer for some activity and the organizers would try to come up with what I might be able to do. Not so with Friends of Trees, there the mission is clear and the tasks well defined.

What advice would you give to other NCs who are fresh into their role?

When we step up to volunteer, we all bring different skills to the table. I would say to begin as NC take on those tasks that you feel comfortable with. As you grow in the role try on some tasks to challenge yourself. For me that was stepping up to say something at the plantings = I do not like public speaking but it’s not so bad when you are talking about something that you are passionate about.

Do you have any volunteer memories that stand out?

A favorite memory is of planting one year with a family who lives around the corner from me. I was out planting that day with a crew that included said family. The two children were about 3 and 6 and they came along with their parents. The 3 year old girl was intrigued by the earth worms in the ground and the 6 year old boy enjoyed digging a bit and then helping compact the soil after the tree was in the ground. The children seemed to delight in helping. But the best part was later when I saw their mother in the neighborhood and she said that her kids knew exactly which trees they had helped plant and they continued to point them out. What’s better than getting kids into planting trees?!

Learn more about the amazingness of Neighborhood Coordinators here. We’ll know more soon about NCs will participate in our upcoming season so keep an eye on this page. Thank you Martha, and all NCs!

Volunteer Spotlight: Martha, SE Portland Neighborhood Coordinator

Today I introduce you to Martha: Neighborhood Coordinator to SE Portland’s Laurelhurst neighborhood and all-around amazing member of our Tree Team. [But before I get too far, if you don’t know what a Neighborhood Coordinator is and why they make our Neighborhood Trees planting events successful year after year, get in the know!]

Recently, Martha and I talked about trees, party-planning, how great it feels to meet new people in your neighborhood, and why we’ve been lucky enough to have her volunteer as a Neighborhood Coordinator year after year.

Read the interview below and get hip to Martha and her connection to Neighborhood Coordinating.

SE Portland Neighborhood Coordinators

Martha (second from the right) and the Neighborhood Coordinator team, posing next to the community potluck lunch at their tree planting event.

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What a Great Season to be a Neighborhood Coordinator, You Should Consider Joining the TEAM!

Susan, rockin’ NC

Well it is sunny for once in Oregon and I’m glad it’s not too hot since I know the trees aren’t huge fans of 90 degree heat for multiple days. Although, that’s not the case for humans but you can’t have it all. Enough of the weather, I want to talk to you all about an exciting volunteer role that we are recruiting for here at Friends of Trees. We are looking for folks to jump into the role of Neighborhood Coordinator! But what does a Neighborhood Coordinator entail? Great question!

Here is a brief explanation of what the volunteer role might look for you:  Together, NCs and Friends of Trees staff guide neighborhood plantings from beginning to end. No need to be an expert! Interested volunteers will be trained and supported throughout the planting that you will be coordinating. Together with staff, you will:

  • Help coordinate one neighborhood planting per year (November-April);
  • Respond to homeowner inquiries by email & phone;
  • Make phone calls to homeowners that have not ordered their tree(s) to help them make their decision;
  • Solicit pick-up trucks or open trailer pullers from neighbors;
  • Recruit additional volunteers (Takes quite a few volunteers for one planting);
  • Solicit food/monetary donations from the community for breakfast/lunch;
  • Set up/coordinate breakfast & lunch for the volunteers on planting day

This is just a brief snapshot of what the volunteer role could be for you! We need NCs in these neighborhoods below:

Here are a few pictures that illustrate the results of what NCs accomplish:

Volunteers checking in the morning of a Neighborhood Trees planting
Folks unloading trees to be planted by happy volunteers
Tree in the ground with the support of smiley volunteers
Volunteers enjoying the potluck lunch after the planting…hard work pays off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you know of anyone interested in the role (or yourself) and happen to be in a neighborhood listed in the table above please send them our way, share this blog with them, and cross your fingers that they sign up for the role with our handy registration form. REMEMBER, the best way to share volunteer opportunities is still through word of mouth (or text since that’s how folks seem to communicate nowadays). 

Hope you continue to have a great Summer and kudos to you for making it through this detailed blog post!!

 

Pablo Brito is the Volunteer & Outreach Specialist for Friends of Trees

 

 

Hey! Yeah you!! Won’t you jump in and become a Neighborhood Coordinator for our 2018-2019 planting season?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Hey, how does that Friends of Trees event happen in my neighborhood?” WELL, let me tell you that one huge puzzle piece is the fact that we have volunteers who sign up and train to become Neighborhood Coordinators in their respective neighborhood. Whether you are in Arbor Lodge or Cully, more “NCs” are needed to join the teams already hard at work putting on these events (and some of our ‘hoods have no NCs!).  Perks about this role would be getting to know your neighbors young and old, insightful tree knowledge, and rocking our popular TREE TEAM t-shirt! Have I caught your interest yet? I hope so, but if not, my final push to have you consider this role is that you would be helping plant hundreds of trees in your neighborhood with the goal of creating a cohesive and healthy community. Because YOU plus TREES equal VIBRANT communities.

 

Check out below some details about the role:

  • NCs are needed in neighborhoods where we plant various neighborhood trees: ‘hoods in Vancouver, WA and NE, SE, E Portland;
  • Bring neighbors together to meet one another, learn about our urban forest, and support them to plant or volunteer in some way;
  • Communicate with  local businesses through volunteering, raising money, or in-kind donations to support the annual neighborhood planting;
  • Engage community groups, schools and organizations to come out and get involved directly in their communities

 

Together, NCs and Friends of Trees staff guide our neighborhood plantings from beginning to end. No need to be an expert! Interested volunteers; you will be trained and supported throughout the planting that you will be coordinating.  Together with staff, you will:

  • Help coordinate one neighborhood planting per year (October-April);
  • Respond to homeowner inquiries by email & phone;
  • Make phone calls to homeowners that have not ordered their tree(s);
  • Solicit pick-up trucks or open trailer pullers from neighbors;
  • Recruit additional volunteers (Takes quite a bit of volunteers for one planting);
  • Solicit food/monetary donations from the community for breakfast/lunch;
  • Set up/coordinate breakfast & lunch for the volunteers on planting day

So where do you sign up? Click HERE to register for a training if you find yourself living in a neighborhood where we need new NCs. Not sure what neighborhood you live in? Type your address using this link HERE and you’ll find out in seconds what neighborhood you belong to. After you register, someone from our Volunteer & Outreach team will contact you with further steps about the NC role. Thank you readers for considering this important role with Friends of Trees.

== Pablo is our Volunteer & Outreach Specialist with Friends of Trees==

Neighborhood Coordinator

SE Portland Neighborhood Coordinators

Neighborhood Coordinator

Where: In Portland neighborhoods East of the Willamette River; West Gresham neighborhoods; and all neighborhoods within Milwaukie, Oregon City, and Wilsonville.

When: Neighborhood Coordinators are not currently being recruited.

Neighborhood Coordinators are a crucial volunteer role for our neighborhood planting events, but due to Covid-19 the need for the role has lessened. Typically, this role is needed the few months leading up to a neighborhood planting as well as providing support on the day of the planting event. The precise timing and time commitment for your neighborhood is flexible and can often work around someone’s availability.

More About this Role: 

Neighborhood Coordinators (NCs) are a special role for those who love to work behind-the-scenes. If you’re looking to connect with your neighbors and make a lasting impact in your neighborhood, the Neighborhood Coordinator might be the perfect fit for you!

Neighborhood Coordinators are absolutely critical to the mission and success of Friends of Trees. Each NC work closely with staff members to help answer questions from tree purchasers, create outreach strategies, and organize the annual neighborhood planting day.  The most important piece of the equation is the willingness to communicate with your neighbors, get excited about having more trees in your neighborhoods — and, of course, have fun doing it!