Volunteer Opportunities

A variety of volunteer activities are offered by the Sustainability Office throughout the year, including the Campus Garden, Prairie Seed Collection, and Stream Monitoring, which are explained in detail below. For our current schedule of volunteer opportunities and to subscribe to our newsletter, please email us at sustainability@uww.edu. You can also sign up for our newsletter by filling out the form at the bottom of our home page.

Campus Garden

We welcome all students, faculty, and community members to join our gardening efforts!  The UWW Campus Garden was established in 2013 and continues to be a great way to get involved on campus while giving back to the community as a majority of produce is donated to the Whitewater Food Pantry.  Learn about plant maintenance, harvesting, weeds, and pests through our volunteer activities and come prepared with your gardening questions.  Our goal is to make gardening as accessible as possible, so volunteers do not need any gardening experience to help us out.  We are typically in the Campus Garden during the months of June-October, but often will do additional prep and cleanup work in May and November. 

Registration is not required.  Meet us at the garden anytime during the scheduled volunteer session and a staff member help you sign in and get started.  If needed, staff members can sign documentation verifying your completed volunteer hours.  The Campus Garden is located between the Ambrose Health Center and Campus Bookstore on Starin Road.

Additionally, we do a variety of gardening-related activities in the Upham Greenhouse during the entire year, with most of the work focused on February-May.  There are three greenhouses in operation, including a student research house, a tropical plant collection, and a desert plant collection.  The collections are open to the campus community to browse and research projects must be registered with the Biology Department to reserve bench space.  Upham Greenhouse is located on the south end of the first floor of Upham Hall near the Physics Department offices.  There is a door at the end of the hallway that leads to Upham Greenhouse. 

If you want to learn more about our Campus Garden efforts to date, please visit our Campus Operations - Grounds page to get details on how we've been able to engage and impact the campus and community.

Prairie Seed Collection

The restoration in the UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve has been underway for a number of years and it provides an ample opportunity for students to get volunteer hours in right at the beginning of the fall semester.  Seed collection roughly runs from mid-September until mid-November and culminates with us re-planting a section of the Nature Preserve with our collected seed from all of the prior weeks.  Typically we can collect several thousand dollars worth of seed and anything not used for planting on campus is donated to the City of Whitewater for their restoration projects.

Registration is not required for individuals. However, this is a great group activity such as student groups and Greek organizations! To make an appointment for groups of 5 or more people, please email us with your affiliation, group size, and times/dates that work best for you.

Unless indicated otherwise, all prairie seed collection times meet at the Hoffman Memorial Kiosk on Schwager Drive.

Stream Monitoring

UW-Whitewater Water Council students led the charge to getting more involved in the health of our local waterways by signing up for the Water Action Volunteers (WAV) Program through the Rock River Coalition.  Every month from April to October (and sometimes during the off-months if it is warm enough), faculty, staff, and students go out to local streams and take measurements of different variables that help determine the health of these tributaries of the Rock River.  These measurements include temperature, stream flow, transparency, dissolved oxygen, and biotic index.  

In 2013, we initiated our active monitoring of Bluff Creek as it passes through the Bluff Creek State Natural Area on County Highway P.  In 2014, we added Whitewater Creek as our second monitoring site near the Ray Trost Nature Preserve near the UW-W campus.  In 2017, we added Spring Brook Creek as our third monitoring site as it passes through the Whitewater Country Club.

To register for this activity, please email us with the session you would like to attend and your shoe size to reserve a pair of waders. We meet at the Upham Greenhouse 15 minutes before each scheduled session.  Upham Greenhouse is located on the south end of the first floor of Upham Hall near the Physics Department offices.  There is a door at the end of the hallway that leads into Upham Greenhouse.  If we need to re-schedule due to severe weather, we will notify individuals that registered with us via email the morning of the event.

UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative

Creative Marketing Unlimited (CMU) is a student marketing firm where members of the American Marketing Association (AMA) work on the UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative, a campaign designed to advance a sustainable lifestyle on campus through direct promotion of sustainable ideas, efforts, and initiatives to students.  If you are interested in helping out but you might not necessarily be interested in "getting your hands dirty," there is always opportunities for people who have skills in writing, graphic design, outreach, marketing, communications, event planning, or any other skill that would contribute toward promoting sustainability.  CMU can serve as an important resource to help you promote your event, help you plan it, or simply provide some assistance with staffing it.  Please contact them to learn more.