How to prepare for a planting site: the volunteer’s guide

It is spring again, you’ve registered as a volunteer to one of the planting activities and you’ll soon lend a hand for nature. You already know that punctuality is important, that you need to be well rested, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. But there’s a short list you need to check – so that your experience is truly memorable. Read below a guide for the smart and prepared volunteer.

Prepare your equipment

Check the weather forecast one day before the event and prepared for anything. No matter whether it’s sunny, rainy or windy, don’t forget: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only wrong equipment (well, yes, winter’s not like summer).

Be ready for fieldwork. This may include precipitations, but it will definitely mean getting physical and dirty. Dress comfortably so you can move easily around!

What you should pack, as a recommendation:

  • rubber boots or other waterproof foot gear,
  • several layers of clothing, that you can shed as it gets warm, with appropriate wind protection,
  • a raincoat is a must,
  • some type of hat or cap,
  • a small backpack with snacks, a water bottle, disinfectant, napkins, sunscreen and sunglasses. 

We’ll have sandwiches for volunteers, but you never know when you need that extra-energy. And if you bring your own water bottle and take it back with you and use it again, nature will thank you for it.

Before you close the backpack, it won’t hurt to take a look at the planting site page: there we mention difficulty level and special considerations, as well as a weather forecast widget.

Volunteer's Guide
In the city or in the mountains, smart volunteers are always ready!

Stay alert…

During the planting activities, we use big tools like spades, shovels and full buckets. There will be people all around you. As well as holes for the seedlings – maybe they were dug before you arrived, maybe you’ll dig them yourself. 

What you need to pay attention to: No sudden moves – you don’t want to trip and fall. Watch out for holes and ditches, people and children all around you, how you handle your tools and seedlings and all else that can harm you. Even the thorns of bushes and trees around the site may sting you. And we don’t what that!

The volunteer’s guide would not be complete without the health and safety checklist. Maybe it’s a good idea to go through this page (in Romanian) before you get to the planting site.

…and well-informed

For a full experience as a volunteer, pay attention to the instructions that will be offered. Health and safety measures and the planting techniques will be explained to you by specialists. It may seem easy, but correctly planting seedlings that grow strong roots takes a bit of practice.

Follow the precise steps for digging the hole, placing the seedling, treading the soil and checking the whole thing at the end. 

Be curious and ask questions. Find out about the planting scheme on that area, about how long will it take for the seedlings to grow into trees, what will they face and what can you do to plant them right. Find out about the other planting activities you can join 🙂

Truth is, we see volunteers on Tomorrow’s Forest planting sites as having an educational experience. Our Foundation’s finances ensure the appropriate workforce for our reforestation programme. But we also believe that it’s very important for nature that all of us learn how a forest is formed and cared for

And, obviously, it’s also important to have a great time and make new friends!

Tell the others

You came in good spirit, helped nature, planted a forest. You learned new things and overcame new challenges. You made great memories. Now go tell the others! Share with friends and family, post on social media with #wehelpweplant and tag our Foundation (@padureademaine on all networks) and the people you planted with – you’ll inspire others to take action as well. Good deeds are worth telling!

We help, we plant!

P.S. Between March 15 – April 15, in Romania we celebrate the Forests Month. Our planting sites will be open until early May. If you can’t make it and still want to help, you may want to consider a small donation – for every Euro (10 lei) you donate, we plant a seedling in your name!