Public Volunteer Program

Volunteers can join us to learn about Gowanus history, geography, and plant communities as they care for native plants in our nursery and maintain local green infrastructure.

Nursery Volunteer

Join the Lowlands Nursery as a Nursery Volunteer for the 2023 Fall Season!

Nursery Volunteers assist GCC staff at our Lowlands Nursery, located at 25 9th Street, Brooklyn 11215, with weekly nursery work ranging from propagation, weeding, watering, creating soil mixes, and more.

No experience needed but to volunteer, participants must have attended at least (5) volunteer nursery shifts prior to September 2023, OR attend (1) orientation on:

  • Wednesday, 9/20/23, 10:30am-12:30pm
  • Sunday, 9/24/23, 12-2pm
  • Saturday, 9/30/23, 10:30am-12:30pm

Volunteers must attend at least (4), 3-hour shifts between September-December 2023. Choose from:

  • Wednesdays, 10am-1pm
  • Sundays, 10am-1pm AND/OR 1-4pm (only through October 2023)
  • Select Saturdays, 10am-1pm AND/OR 1-4pm

To volunteer:

1) View the full position description here

2) Fill out the interest form here

Space is limited, Nursery Volunteers are accepted on a rolling basis. You will receive a follow up email mid-September with more information.

For questions, please email volunteer[@]gowanuscanalconservancy[dot]org.

Learn more about our stewardship opportunities through our email newsletter.

Tree Care Volunteer

Take care of street trees by weeding and applying compost to local street trees. Thank you to our sponsor District 39 CM Shahana Hanif for making this event possible!

  • Sunday 9/24, 9-11am – Tree Care Event in partnership with Big Reuse – sign up
  • Saturday 10/14, 10am-12pm – City of Forest Day Tree Care Event – sign up (This event is part of GCC’s 2023 Open House, we encourage participants to join us after this stewardship event on-site at the Lowlands Nursery).
  • Saturday 11/18, 10am-12pm – Tree Care Event – sign up

Partner Volunteer Opportunities

  • Saturday 9/16, 12-2pm – Thomas Greene Park It’s My Park Day – sign up
  • Saturday 9/23, 2-4pm – Street Tree Care with Cobble Hill Association & Big Reuse – sign up

Corporate Volunteer Program

Demonstrate your company’s commitment to community service and environmental stewardship by spending a rewarding half-day volunteering in the Gowanus area. Join us on a short tour of the ecological and industrial history of the Gowanus Canal before pulling on your gloves. To set up your volunteer experience, email: partnerships@gowanuscanalconservancy.org 

For more information, please refer to this Corporate Volunteer Program Pamphlet.

COVID-19 Safety Protocol

If any of the following conditions apply to you, stay home and DO NOT engage in stewardship activities outside the home:

– You are sick.

– You are an older adult and/or have chronic health conditions, including chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system.

If volunteering:

– Do not gather in groups and keep at least six feet between you and others.

– Wear a face covering. People who do not show symptoms may still be able to spread COVID-19. A face covering prevents you from spreading COVID-19 to other people. If you do not have a face covering, we will provide one to you. If you do not wear a face covering, you will not be permitted to join the event.

– Wash your hands often, including at the start and end of your volunteer opportunity. Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. (We have hand sanitizer and a handwashing station on-site).

– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.

– Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

– Do not shake hands.

Partners and Sponsors

Council Member Shahana Hanif

Council Member Lincoln Restler

NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Community Forestry Grants Program (Round 15)

NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)