The Watershed Wise Volunteer Gardener initiative is designed to increase the knowledge, enthusiasm, and stewardship of citizens along the San Antonio River Watershed. It builds upon existing knowledge and appreciation for the river as well as sustainable practices to empower a trained number of “Elite” volunteers to conduct independent landscape maintenance on areas along the San Antonio River managed by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA).
Volunteers tend plants alongside SARA’s Sustainable Landscape staff, introduce visitors to the river’s history, help out at special events, and provide various types of other support. Volunteers will be ambassadors to the general public on behalf of SARA, and as such, must be knowledgeable, professional, and courteous in their dealings with others.
Interested participants must meet the eligibility requirements in order to apply. Applications are currently being processed on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be accepted for the spring 2018 training which will take place on Feb. 1, March 1 and April 5. Based on operational needs, additional applications may be placed on a wait list until openings become available. Deadline to apply for the spring 2018 training class is Jan. 26.
The Watershed Wise Warrior Volunteer Gardener Initiative is open to all interested and able participants over 18 years of age. In order to attain “Elite” status, a volunteer must meet the minimum criteria and be recommended by the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) staff. The minimum criteria includes:
- A positive and uplifting attitude and desire for knowledge about the San Antonio River
- The ability to meet physical requirements of role such as the ability to walk, stand, stoop, and lift, and communicate effectively with SARA staff, other participants, and the general public
- A certificate of completion from all three classes at either Spring or Fall training sessions
- A commitment of a minimum of 40 hours of responsive and dependable service along the Museum Reach, to be completed over one calendar year that begins on the date of “Elite” volunteer status attainment.
- A recommendation from SARA staff
- A completed application and signed Release of Liability & Use of Image by Participant Waiver
- Ability to access internet to sign up and log work hours through online system
A 3-month bi-annual training course will be held in the spring (March, April, May) and fall (September, October, November) of each year. The course will have one, approximately 3-hour class per month developed and led by SARA staff:
- Introduction – Orientation & Volunteer Standards, Plant ID, and Weed Management
- Intermediate – Sustainable Landscape Maintenance and Pruning
- Advanced – Integrated Pest Management, Irrigation, and Plant Health Care