Project Spudnik Garden | Peace Through Action USA

Credit: @SpudnikP on Twitter

Project Spudnik Garden

What is the Project Spudnik Garden and why is it here?

Project Spudnik was founded in 2016 by the Munn and Dickson-Burke families to give back to the community and teach youth gardening skills. Now, Project Spudnik has a goal of inspiring a love for gardening and the environment while raising fresh produce for the needy. All produce is donated to Calvert food pantries as it is harvested!

What is the Calvert Peace Project and why is it involved in the Project Spudnik Garden?

The purpose of the Calvert Peace Project is to increase understanding, collaboration, and community among youth and adults in Calvert County, Maryland by providing civic and social engagement activities with a focus on peace. The Calvert Peace Project partnered with Project Spudnik to support their inspirational mission and help to provide more individuals in Calvert County a chance to give back to their community.

Where is the Project Spudnik Garden located?

The Project Spudnik garden is located on the grounds of the All Saints Episcopal Church at:

100 Lower Marlboro Rd, Sunderland, MD 20689

The garden is located near the junction of route 4 and Lower Marlboro Rd. on the North side of the All Saints Church to the right of the North Parking lot.

Who volunteers at the Project Spudnik Garden?

The Project Spudnik Garden at All Saints Episcopal Church has volunteers who participate in bi-monthly teams in the areas of gardening, nursery propagation and care, education, curatorial record-keeping, facilities maintenance and more. While all of our activities are supported by a Master Gardener, our active volunteers range in age from high school-aged youth to seniors. Volunteers include students, working professionals, stay-at-home parents, and retirees with diverse interests and experience.

Why does the Project Spudnik Garden need volunteers?

Volunteers, working alongside the master gardeners, help make the Project Spudnik Garden an incredible resource to give back to the community. Volunteers play a critical role in developing, supporting, and sustaining the garden, education programs, and service-oriented activities that create a bridge between members of the community. Volunteers donating their time enable the Project Spudnik Garden to have a tremendous impact with its limited budget.

What are some of the benefits of volunteering at the Project Spudnik Garden?

People volunteer at the Project Spudnik Garden with the Calvert Peace Project for many different reasons and find many rewarding aspects to their service, such as learning new skills, making new friends, supporting environmental education and giving back to the community. Volunteers can also enjoy the satisfaction of contributing to food banks that serve adults, youth, and families throughout Calvert County. Through your service you will have the chance to work with outstanding people who enjoy working with plants and people in a positive, peaceful environment. Volunteers are also eligible to receive recognition of completed service hours for volunteer service hour requirements for school, continuing education, employers, etc. Volunteers are respected and appreciated for all they do with the Calvert Peace Project and Project Spudnik Garden and we make it a priority to recognize and thank our excellent volunteer teams throughout the year.

What time commitment is required to volunteer at the Project Spudnik Garden?

Volunteering at the Project Spudnik Garden is very flexible, easy, and personalized. Each month, there will be several opportunities to volunteer based upon your availability. You are not required to commit to a regular volunteer position. If you only have one free day or you would just like to spend an afternoon getting your hands dirty, then feel free to join us for a single afternoon! We appreciate any and all volunteer efforts, even if you are unable to volunteer for your entire time slot. If you would like to more consistently contribute to the garden and there are specific days that work best for you, however, please indicate your availability on the Project Spudnik Volunteer Interest Form.

Is the day I volunteer flexible or does it need to be the same day each time?

This is a flexible volunteer experience designed to allow you to contribute according to your personal availability. Each month, we will update you via email correspondence and our webpage that will display the current and upcoming volunteer opportunities. This way, you can select one or multiple sessions to volunteer that suits your needs and time constraints in advance.

Do I need to have any special skills or prior knowledge to become a regular volunteer?

We don’t require any special skills other than an interest in learning. You will receive both the general orientation and any specialized training needed to be successful in your specific position. That said, we encourage you to think about what skills you already have that could be used in our other activities such photography, videography, teaching, graphic design, etc. But, if you just love being outside any time of year and can’t wait to get your hands dirty working with plants, then that’s all you need!

What if I have special skills, experience, or knowledge I could offer?

We welcome people with special knowledge, experience and skills in all areas (e.g., graphic design background, photography/videography, master gardeners, retired faculty) to contact us about volunteering or indicate special skills on their volunteer application. Although most of our volunteers work on the garden team, sometimes we are able to arrange special projects or assignments for volunteers with unique talents. We still encourage all new volunteers to explore the Project Spudnik Garden so they can become familiar with our mission and vision.

Do I need to bring any gardening equipment with me in order to volunteer?

No, we don’t require volunteers to bring any special equipment to volunteer. If you do have equipment, however, we would be thrilled and grateful to have you bring your tools so that we can maximize our impact. Please feel free to bring anything (especially items listed on the sign-up form!) that you think could be helpful for our work in the garden.

Do I need to bring personal protective equipment?

You do not need to bring any personal protective equipment in order to volunteer at the garden, though we encourage volunteers to keep their comfort in mind. We suggest you bring garden gloves, along with anything that you may need to protect yourself – sun block, bug repellent, hat, sunglasses, and water are recommended. You are welcome to bring any additional items that may aid you in your time as a volunteer, such as kneeling pads, back braces, etc. If you are minorly injured during your time serving in the garden, please see the master gardener and they can provide a first aid kit. For more information, please see our garden safety tips sheet.

Do I need to report anything to anybody, or track my hours?

When you arrive, there will be a sign-in sheet to help track volunteer participation and record service hours. The master gardener will delegate responsibilities and help to record/track your personal hours spent in the garden through sign-in/sign-out. We may send a survey after your volunteer experience to see how we can improve the experience and aid our volunteers. Your feedback is always welcome, and if you have specific questions/concerns please let us know how we can assist you.

I am enjoying my time volunteering; can I share my experience or invite others to volunteer with me?

Yes! Please share your experiences and help us draw attention to the good that can be done in our community. If you are willing, we would love to be tagged in any and all social media posts showing your experiences with the garden! Tag us at Calvert Peace Project on Facebook, @calvertpeaceproject on Instagram, and @calvertpeace on Twitter, and use the hashtag #PeaceBeginsWithWe!

My organization showed up and volunteered, and we would like to get some publicity for that; is that possible?

Yes, please contact the Calvert Peace Project at calvert@peacethroughaction.org or by calling 202-827-5967. You will be put in contact with a promotion representative who will work with you to create a publicity post!

This sounds great! How do I sign up?

You can download and fill out the Volunteer Interest Form linked below and submit to calvert@peacethroughaction.org. You can also sign up for specific dates and times from now through June at this link.

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