FAQs

What should I wear when I volunteer with Friends of Trees? What about my group? And more!

Thank you for your interest in Friends of Trees!

Here are many useful resources to make your volunteer experience with Friends of Trees as enjoyable and convenient as possible:

Volunteer Registration

Friends of Trees planting events are excellent ways for individuals, families, and groups to learn team-building skills, have fun together, and give back to the community.  Registration in advance of our events is strongly encouraged — please click on the event of your choice in the Online Calendar and fill out the quick 2-minute form linked inside the calendar event.

We love groups!  However, please note that it is important in our Neighborhood Trees program to have an even distribution of volunteers on each crew.  This means that it is quite likely that we’ll need your group to split up into groups of 3-4 people each.  This ensures a high quality experience for all of our volunteers and is a necessary component of success for us.  If this will not work for you at all, please consider a Green Space event instead where we can often accommodate groups of up to 15 in a crew.  Thanks in advance for your understanding!

How to dress for a planting

Our planting season runs from October through April, when trees are dormant and the abundant rain helps them get firmly established. The weather can often be cold and rainy.  The fall and winter mornings can be chilly, after an hour of planting you may get warm, so we recommend that you dress in layers. Waterproof outerwear is ideal. For safety reasons, we require you wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or boots. Tall rubber rain boots are the best.

Of course, you’ll be digging in dirt and handling mulch, so please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Friends of Trees provides gloves to wear for the event.

Left: Good! Warm coat and hat, rubber boots, warm layers                                                                    Right: While fashionable, this planter may be cold and will get their white shoes very dirty

Left: Good! Rain coat, warm hat, rubber boots, and warm layers                                                                            Right: Avoid sandals and thin cotton layers (will be uncomfortable)

 

 

Volunteer Rights & Responsibilities

All of our volunteers can expect certain things from their volunteer experience with Friends of Trees. In return, Friends of Trees has certain expectations of every volunteer. We encourage everyone to become familiar with these. Thanks!

Our volunteers have the right to:

  • Be provided with an introduction to Friends of Trees, the staff members, and the facilities
  • Be treated as an individual whose time and input is valued by the organization
  • Participate in crafting a well-defined role with clear expectations by Friends of Trees staff
  • Receive training/education for their tasks and be given an explanation of how this work contributes to the larger mission for Friends of Trees
  • Receive feedback about their work and a person to whom they can direct questions and receive support
  • Be given flexibility to integrate their volunteer schedule into their personal schedule (Note: Some roles are more flexible than others and Friends of Trees will communicate this at the start of engagement)
  • Learn about Friends of Trees, its mission, and its programs
  • Be given the opportunity for varied experiences
  • Be provided with a safe working environment
  • Protection from liability, harassment, and other workplace concerns
  • Request a re-evaluation of their role/task if and when they would like to change

Volunteers are expected to:

  • Be sincere in their offer of service to Friends of Trees
  • Be willing to participate in orientation and training
  • Be realistic about their time commitment to the volunteer role
  • Contact Friends of Trees with any scheduling changes
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Carry out their work reliably and to the best of their ability
  • Represent Friends of Trees to the best of their abilities when working with the public as a volunteer
  • Uphold Friends of Trees’ commitment to inclusion at every turn (learn about our Equity & Inclusion policies)
  • Stay within the bounds of the job description, unless otherwise asked
  • Accept the guidance and decisions of the Friends of Trees staff
Inclement Weather Notification

Our temperate winter climate is perfect for transplanting and growing trees, but sometimes we do have to deal with snow and/or ice conditions on planting day. We don’t want to put our volunteers at risk traveling to and from plantings in these conditions, so when you have a question about whether the weather is causing unsafe road conditions, please check out our Online Calendar, or call our Volunteer hotline during M-F business hours — 503-595-0213.   If our calendar does not indicate cancellations, we’re moving forward with getting trees in the ground that day.

Service Learning Hours

Volunteering with Friends of Trees is an excellent way to satisfy your school or organization’s service learning hours requirements. Our planting events run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and occur almost every Saturday from October through April. We hope you and your friends will join us to have fun planting trees and completing your hours.

Please note that we are unable to write/send notes, letters or emails to verify hours attended. Please arrive at least ten minutes prior to the start of the planting to sign in and submit a completed waiver. (See below for waiver requirements for volunteers under the age of 18.) At the completion of the planting, a Friends of Trees staff member will be happy to sign something on your behalf, so please make sure to bring the letter, form, or other document that you use to track hours to the planting.

Youth Volunteers: Waiver Requirement

We welcome volunteers under the age of 18 at all of our plantings.

In order to participate, all youth under age 18 must bring the waiver signed by their parent or guardian to the planting. Please note that youth will not be able to plant, weed, or mulch if they don’t have a signed waiver.

For youth age 15 and under, we kindly request a parent or guardian is in attendance.  For groups of youth we ask that there is 1 adult for every 5 youth.

Please click HERE to download and print a youth waiver to sign in advance. We’ll ask for it at the registration table at the start of the event!

Treemail

Stay up to date with Friends of Trees! Learn more about our volunteer opportunities, our programs, gain access to tree-sources … and more!  Sign up for our e-newsletter Treemail to stay in the loop. Your personal information will not be shared with or sold to any organizations, businesses, or other third parties.

Contact Friends of Trees Volunteer & Outreach Staff

Questions about volunteering?  You can reach Jenny Bedell-Stiles and Pablo Brito in the Volunteer & Outreach Program at volunteer@friendsoftrees.org or call our volunteer hotline: 503-595-0213. We’re here to help make your volunteer experience a good one!

Jenny Bedell-Stiles
Volunteer & Outreach Program Manager
503-467-2528 | JennyB@friendsoftrees.org

Pablo Brito
Volunteer & Outreach Program Specialist
503-467-2527 | PabloB@friendsoftrees.org

Upcoming Events

Friends of Trees Events Calendar