BBG’s Real-Life Training Program for Community Volunteers
Learn + Grow + Connect + Serve
The Brooklyn Urban Gardener (BUG) certificate program is an annual ten-session course that covers the basics in urban gardening and community greening. It connects the educational resources of Brooklyn Botanic Garden to the greening efforts of Brooklyn’s communities.
Upon completing all coursework and required volunteer hours, graduates are certified as Brooklyn Botanic Garden BUG volunteers. Certified BUGs then continue to support greening projects at schools, senior centers, block associations, community gardens, and other organizations.
BUG students can expect an experiential, train–the–trainer program. Using a hands–on, participatory education model, the course includes instruction in sustainable horticultural practices suited to the urban environment, street tree stewardship, community engagement practices, effective teaching methods, and an overview of the greening resources available in Brooklyn. The training is free.
The BUG certificate program consists of
- 40 hours of interrelated, intensive workshops spread out over 11 sessions in eight weeks. These workshops cover the essentials of urban gardening and community greening and take place on evenings and weekends at Brooklyn Botanic Garden or partnering community gardens.
- 30 hours of volunteering for an assigned project. Working in teams, students collaborate with Brooklyn-based organizations to support real-life, local community greening projects.
- Required reading and homework assignments each week.
- Regular group presentations to the class on the team’s progress and challenges.
A select number of applicants are chosen to participate in a group interview. From those, the class of 15 students is chosen and announced in July. Previously unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to reapply. Classes begin in mid–September and run into November. Graduation takes place in January.
If you have any questions, email [email protected] or call 718-623-7250.
The Brooklyn Urban Gardener application is now closed. Check back in March 2018 for the new application.
The BUG certificate program is held once annually over the fall and winter. In–class time is scheduled for eight Thursday evenings (6—9 p.m.) and two (nonconsecutive) weekend days to avoid conflicting with typical workday hours. Workshops take place from mid-September to early November, but each team’s community project hours may extend into January. Together with their project team and staff mentor, students devise a workable community service schedule. BUG candidates are expected to graduate in January.
Check this page for updates on the workshop schedule for BUG 2016.
It’s significant. Students are expected to attend every single session of class (35 hours), do required reading and homework each week, and devote a minimum of 30 hours to their assigned community team project, including preparing a team presentation for a graduation event held in January.
After graduating, BUGs are regularly informed of community greening projects seeking volunteers. To maintain certification, BUGs are expected to continue to volunteer approximately 20 hours per year.
More questions? Contact Brooklyn Botanic Garden's community greening staff at [email protected] or 718-623-7250.
Major Sponsor, Community Greening Programs