Tag Archives: outdoor volunteering

It may be cold now, but spring is almost here! Check out these outdoorsy volunteer opportunities coming up

Middle Tennessee feels like a frozen tundra lately, but we’ve got dreams of spring. As the days grow longer and the weather warms, lots of local organizations are planting trees, prepping gardens, and getting park and public spaces cleaned up and ready for prime time.  

Want to get out of the house for a workout that will also help beautify the city? Here are some upcoming volunteer opportunities soon blooming near you: 

Prep the BELL Garden for the upcoming growing season (several shifts)

The Bellevue Edible Learning Lab is gearing up for another growing season and needs community engagement! The garden serves as teaching and learning lab for volunteers, students of Bellevue Middle Prep, and for the community. No gardening experience is necessary. Children are allowed with adult supervision.  

SIGN UP HERE (several shifts available) 

Clean out the Inspiritus gardens in preparation for planting (multiple dates)

The Inspiritus Healthy Garden Program empowers families in public and subsidized housing to grow their own food in raised-bed gardens right outside their doors. Volunteers are needed to clean out the gardens and prepare them for spring planting. Inspiritus will provide tools — just dress warmly and bring gloves! 

SIGN UP HERE (several shifts available) 

Take back the earth from invasive species during Weed Wrangle (March 6, multiple locations)

Nothing says spring’s coming like the annual Weed Wrangle! Hundreds of people will take to parks and public spaces to pull up invasive plant species — honeysuckle, privet, winter creeper, and more. Weed Wrangle is being held in Shelby Bottoms, Cumberland Park, Two Rivers Park, Harpeth Hall, Forest Hills, Cheekwood, Owl’s Hill, and Warner Parks.   


Replenish the urban canopy with Nashville Tree Foundation (March 3 and March 6)

NTF’s Releaf 2020 campaign aims to restore Nashville’s canopy, which took a huge hit during the March 3, 2020, tornado. Two upcoming events will help establish trees in East Nashville. Both opportunities are family friendly and allow for children as young as 6 to participate if they are accompanied by an adult.  

SIGN UP FOR MARCH 3 HERE (East Nashville) 

Help beautify Radnor Lake State Park (several dates in spring, summer, and fall)

Volunteers are needed to build and mulch trails, remove invasive plants, and occasionally to help clean trash out of the park and streams. The work can be strenuous but it’s very rewarding to support such a beautiful state park right here in our back yard. Projects happen rain or shine. 


Help Turnip Green Creative Reuse establish a community garden (Feb. 20)

Volunteers will get their hands dirty to help build out a community garden and outdoor learning space in Wedgewood-Houston. Activities may include creating composting and rainwater collection site, building and maintaining garden beds from reusable materials, and building pollinator hotels from recycled materials. 

SIGN UP HERE (full but you can join the waiting list)  

Friends of Shelby Park small tree planting (Feb. 20)

Volunteers will transplant seedlings from the tree nursery to their forever homes in Shelby Park, which was hit hard by the March 3, 2020, tornado.  

SIGN UP HERE (full but you can join the waiting list) 

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: The Nashville City Cemetery Association

Volunteers play a key role in helping keep the cemetery beautiful.

Where in our fair city can you literally take a stroll through Nashville’s history? Meander down the quaint lanes of the Nashville City Cemetery, and you will begin to feel that you have stepped back in time – all the way back to 1820.

Buried on these peaceful grounds in the middle of the city are Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers,  15 mayors of Nashville, one Tennessee governor, two of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers, many enslaved and free persons of African descent interred prior to the Civil War, and many others who played important roles in the story of our city’s past.

For history devotees, the opportunity to help preserve the oldest continuously operated public cemetery in Nashville is an honor and delight.

“I love history, and being able to have a hands-on experience in preserving it is truly gratifying,” says Liz Parrott, a devoted volunteer and member of the Nashville City Cemetery Association board of directors.

Volunteers help raise awareness for the Nashville City Cemetery. Here you see one reenacting a war hero whose remains were buried on these grounds.

Susan Laux, a sixth-generation Nashvillian who has family members buried at the cemetery, agrees. “I was thrilled to find out that Hands On Nashville helps to coordinate an ongoing cleanup of the cemetery,” says Susan. “My love of this great city runs deep, and my desire to see our treasures preserved is of great importance to me.”

Volunteers are essential for this membership organization that works to protect, preserve, restore, and raise public awareness for the Nashville City Cemetery in collaboration with the Historical Commission of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Enthusiastic and willing volunteers help the organization by staffing fundraising and educational events, and by helping to keep the cemetery beautiful and welcoming for visitors to come and learn the history of the people buried there, and to see their relatives’ resting place.

If you’re interested in getting involved, take a look at these upcoming opportunities to immerse yourself in Nashville’s history:

Monthly Cemetery Cleanup Days
On August 11, September 8, and October 6, volunteers will clean up the cemetery grounds by raking, picking up trash, sweeping off the tombstones, picking up branches, etc. The October cleanup is especially important – many volunteers are needed as the grounds will be prepared for the Living History Tour taking place the following weekend.

> Sign up for the Aug. 11 cleanup day.

> Sign up for the Sept. 8 cleanup day.

> Sign up for the Oct. 6 cleanup day.

Living History Tour – October 13
Volunteers are needed to assist as tour guides, at admissions, etc. During the tour, certain historical figures who are buried at the cemetery are portrayed by actors who tell their stories to visitors.

 > Volunteer for the Living History Tour.