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Discover 8 places to volunteer outdoors this summer

Ready to get your hands dirty? Volunteering is a powerful way to make a difference, and can boost your mental health. Here’s how you can make a difference this summer and learn about sustainable initiatives in the community.

Many local organizations rely on volunteers for their regular programs, but also to expand their efforts. With opportunities including a few hours on a Saturday to regular weekly and monthly offerings, there are many ways to share your time and talents.

Here are some volunteer opportunities to consider this summer:

After the Harvest needs volunteers to rescue leftover fruits and vegetables from farms, orchards, and gardens. The produce gets delivered to food pantries, kitchens, and shelters. Volunteer opportunities typically go from May through November with morning weekday and some weekend gleaning events. To learn more, visit

Bridging the Gap hosts regular volunteers at its recycling centers, and also at events to clean up litter, plant trees, and help with prairie and forest restoration. Every year, it engages over 1,800 volunteers. To learn more, visit

Cultivate KC hosts Saturday Work Days at Westport Commons Farm. This season, it is hosting volunteers one Saturday morning per month. To learn more, visit

Deep Roots has regular workdays at the native plant demonstration garden at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center. The workdays are three times per month for volunteers to work and learn in the garden. To learn more, visit

Heartland Conservation Alliance offers monthly volunteer opportunities to remove trash and invasive bush honeysuckle from our green spaces and streams. To learn more, visit

KC Farm School hosts weekly volunteer events on Wednesday and Saturdays where you can learn how to grow food with on-farm, hands-on experiences at its farm in Kansas City, KS. To learn more, visit

KC Parks volunteer opportunities include weekly litter cleanups on the Paseo Boulevard, at Camp Lake of the Woods, and at Kessler Park. It also features one-time opportunities such as Swope Park work days on its events calendar. To become a regular volunteer, consider the KC Parks Ambassador program volunteering a minimum of 3-5 hours per month cleaning up litter, gardening, removing honeysuckle, etc. To learn more, visit

Powell Gardens offers regular volunteer opportunities in the garden and also for special events. Volunteers can also serve in its conservation crew assisting with habitat maintenance at prairies, forests, and woodlands. To learn more, visit


Do you already volunteer? Share your positive experiences in the comments.

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