The Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC), a facility of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, is a 13–acre greenhouse, nursery, and seed bank complex located on Staten Island, NY.
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Volunteering at the GNPC offers an opportunity to engage in meaningful conservation work with direct benefits to the natural environment in New York City while working and learning alongside our staff.
The Greenbelt Native Plant Center is eager for volunteers willing to make a commitment to a regular schedule.
There is a great deal to be done in the greenhouses, soil mixing and prep rooms, seed processing and storage areas, and in the nursery yard. We always have much to do, and your contribution will make a difference.
Our science-based approach to native plant production and seed banking also offers a unique opportunity for students interested in habitat conservation and restoration, nursery management, horticulture, and other related professional fields.
Specifically, GNPC needs volunteers for the following:
- Sowing of seed in the propagation range
- Transplanting of herbaceous and woody plants
- Seed collecting
- Establishment, maintenance, and harvest of founder seed plots
- Weeding of the nursery stock in the greenhouses and nursery yard
- Seed cleaning
- Soil preparation
- Hand watering in the greenhouses and nursery yard
- General greenhouse and nursery work
There are also opportunities for those with some research/internet/computer skills to assist with online research, and with data entry and queries related to both our operational and conservation programs.
Some volunteer opportunities may have special conditions that we will discuss with volunteers before agreeing to a commitment. Several of these tasks may:
- Be off premises
- Be physically challenging
- Require full days
- Be longer days
- Require a supervised trial period to determine suitability to task
- Require a significant commitment
- Be seasonal in nature
All volunteer work requires some training, so we ask for a commitment, even a short one, where we can count on you to help us. We prefer that you schedule a full day of volunteering at a time, as this will be the most rewarding for you, and the most efficient for us. The minimal commitment is for one morning (8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) and/or afternoon (12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) each week for three months or more.
The nursery is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate large groups, children under 16, or anyone who requires more than minimal supervision.
Please email Lesley Meuer, Office Manager, or call (718) 370–9044 to schedule a mutual interview and for a look around our nursery center.
We look forward to hearing from you.