Volunteer

 

The Alice Ferguson Foundation has a long legacy of grassroots, community action. Our goal is to create meaningful experiences that connect our volunteers and visitors to the natural world. 

For individuals interested in volunteering, please fill out this form

For groups (including corporate groups) interested in volunteering, please fill out this form

 

Volunteer Activities:

 

Trail Maintenance

Learn about the different types of habitats at Hard Bargain Farm ranging from marsh to forested lowlands and how educators use these habitats to connect students to nature. Participants will have an opportunity to do trail maintenance, including mulching pathways.

This activity is conducted outdoors in a mostly shaded area and involves medium to heavy physical labor including walking on unpaved trails, carrying and using clippers and loppers. 

CleanupbuttionPotomac River Cleanup

Explore the shoreline and boardwalk of the Potomac River! Down river from D.C., our shoreline catches a lot of trash. This trash is an eye-sore to visitors and is deadly to the abundance of wildlife that calls Piscataway Park and the Potomac river home. Help support clean land, safe water, and healthy lives, while learning about our Trash-Free Potomac Watershed Initiative, and taking part in a cleanup.

This activity is conducted outdoors along the shores of the Potomac River and involves medium physical effort, including bending down to pick up trash and carrying bags of trash.

Gardening

Learn about the native flora and fauna of the southern Maryland region and how exotic/invasive species are affecting the natural ecosystem. Participants will remove non-native species and/or perform general garden maintenance such as weeding, pruning, and mulching. Participants may help prepare the Children’s Garden, a half-acre garden to connect our students with the natural world and the food systems that support them.

This activity is conducted outdoors in sunny or shaded areas and involves medium to heavy physical labor including clipping and lopping and pulling invasive vines and herbaceous plants, kneeling down to weed, and using rakes and shovels. 

Barnyard and Farm 

Learn how the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s 1930’s era working farm and barnyard provide important perspective on agriculture in both a historic and contemporary context. Volunteers will help prepare for students’ arrival by cleaning up areas of the barnyard and surrounding outbuildings.

This activity is conducted both indoors outdoors in a mostly shaded area and involves medium physical labor including using shovels and placing soil/manure in wagons or wheelbarrows and possibly re-mulching the path from the barnyard to the chicken coops. 

Theatre / Arts in the Woods

The Hard Bargain Players is comprised of a vibrant group of all volunteer performers, which strives to bring diverse and vibrant arts. The Players’ performance space is a unique, naturally occurring outdoor amphitheater in the woods at Hard Bargain Farm (The Alice Ferguson Foundation). Volunteers positions include: performers, ushers, the box office, concession stand, sound and lighting. 

Living Building Tour

Learn more about the principles of the Living Building Challenge, which the Alice Ferguson Foundation has embraced for the renovation of its educational campus. Volunteers learn about the most rigorous energy efficient and green building standards known in the world today. Enjoy the unique opportunity to tour our net-zero energy, net-zero water and carbon neutral facility.  

This activity is conducted mostly indoors, and partially outdoors and involves minimal physical labor involving walking and standing or sitting. 

Leaving a Legacy 

The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Hard Bargain Farm has been serving the community for more than 60 years. An online archive is being created to host the many historic photographs and journals. Activities include digitizing documents (scanning physical copies into printer scanner) and digitizing media files (transferring files from CD’s to files on external drive). There are various administrative tasks that vary season to season. We will provide laptops.

This activity is conducted indoors and participants may stand or sit. 

Events

Each spring, summer, and fall we throw a big party! Spring Farm Festival and Oktoberfest are Alice Ferguson Foundation traditions. Our events are filled with family fun, live music, barn yard adventures, artisan vendors, food and more! Volunteers are needed for various tasks throughout the farm, including but not limited to: parking, admission, and education demonstrations. 

If you’d like to volunteer at an event, please RSVP by emailing Hannah at [email protected] with the name of the event in the subject line.

Benefits of Volunteering at the Alice Ferguson Foundation:

  • The view! Once you experience the magic of Hard Bargain Farm, we promise you’re going to want to come back. 
  • The people! There’s no better way to make a new friend, or enjoy an old friends company, than working together towards a common goal. 
  • The animals! When’s the last time you pet a cow? Bonus points if you bring Annie the Cow an apple!
  • Environmental Education! Our volunteer actives are designed to be service learning projects. Environmental education is incorporated into everything we do. 
  • Student Service Learning. Students are eligible to receive SSL hours. 

 

Groups and Clubs:

Fergie’s Gardeners: Meetings on the second Tuesday of the month, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Upcoming 2017 meetings: August 8, September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12.

Yearly dues are $20. 

 

Children’s Garden: The second Friday of the month 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM.

Upcoming 2017 meetings: August 11, September 8, October 13.