With the academic year coming to close, as an environmental science student, I wanted to do something where I could gain further knowledge as well as have something fun I could do in my free time. This is when I stumbled upon the Liquorice Park community garden website, who were looking for volunteers to help with the management of the garden.
It’s not something I have ever considered doing before, but living in a city means that there is a lack of green space – I thought the garden, located within the city centre, would be a great opportunity to get outside into nature. For me, as for most people, gardening seems something reserved only for the older generation. However, I found the absolute opposite to be true. I was welcomed in by the other volunteers and was set to work around the park. The managing of the park consists of a mixture of letting things grow as they naturally would while also accommodating room for use by the public. The jobs range from weeding, planting, or more labour intensive jobs such as digging pathways or mowing the grass. One of the major takeaways I had from the experience was the bringing together of both community and nature. I met a variety of people, from other university students to people starting their retirement while working there – a good mixture of different people!
It was rewarding to know that something you were doing was not only beneficial to the biodiversity of plant and animal life, but also beneficial to the community, giving people an outdoor space within an urban environment. As well as this, it also looks great on your CV and can lead to further opportunities with the connections you make with people. For example, based on my work I have been given the wonderful opportunity to write articles for the Liquorice Park website as a volunteer! Above all else, I think volunteering here has taught me about how nature can bring people together and has even changed the way I personally think about outdoor spaces.
So far my volunteering experience has been great and I look forward to continuing to take part in the meetups. Meetups are in the Liquorice Park herb garden every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:30am. It’ll be great to see more people volunteer and the more hands the better, so if you have some spare time, I couldn’t recommend it enough! You can find out more on the Liquorice Park website.