Volunteering at the Nursery

meldanyell(7)March 24, 2005

Please let me know if you guys think this makes sense. I have a nursery located near my home. I was thinking of offering my services to volunteer to do watering, help load/unload trucks, straighten the shop...stuff like. One just for the opportunity to learn more about plants and two for the chance to maybe acquire the discards. I got the idea after volunteering at the animal shelter. Once the employees figured out that I (30+-yrs old) was actually volunteering and not there because of court probabtion (as most of the other teens were) they let me do the "fun" stuff. Feed baby kittens and take the dogs out for "play" time as opposed to cleaning cages. Do you guys think nurseries would go for this idea? I know some folks can be leary....know what I mean? I certainly understand...

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"Volunteering" at a for-profit organization may be illegal. The argument is that businesses would get "volunteer" labor to avoid paying wages and the payroll tax. The Department of Labor may not look kindly on such an arrangement.

However, you might be able to arrange an unpaid "internship" at a nursery, Internships are usually a fixed length of time and an effort is made by the organization to teach you something about the business. The internship is usually offered in conjunction with training through a school but sometimes people do get internships with having gone to a school.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 9:09AM
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thank you for that feedback...never thought it like that, but calling it an internship makes more sense. i appreciate your comment!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 10:22AM
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Why not volunteer at a park or public garden near you ? Contact your local Garden Club or Master Gardener's Program and I am sure they would have a wealth of info on volunteering opportunities. Even your local Ag Extension Agent might have info on volunteering positions. Our county courthouse has a rose garden and the main street has planters filled with gorgeous flowers and all are maintained by volunteers. Surely there must be a volunteering place for such a generous person as yourself !

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 5:18PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

The Master Gardener program here is free, so-to-speak; they teach you and in return you promise to provide a certain number of hours to the community using your new skills. That is one of the first things I want to do when I retire.

Look up Master Gardener program for your area- it may be just what you are looking for.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 9:39PM
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It's great that you want to volunteer, and you'd learn so much. I think the internship would be the route to go, as mentioned, also because of insurance reasons and liability. Many nurseries can't have people other than paid employees in certain areas of their premesis due to the limits of their liability insurance, although a waiver might work. It doesn't hurt to ask, though. Public gardens always need help with many of the same chores as for-profit businesses. Good luck :)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 9:53AM
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