Recruiting New Gardeners
If you have a committed group of gardeners, it may be difficult to think about getting new people interested in your garden. Ongoing recruitment is important for keeping your project moving forward, and for keeping existing gardeners enthusiastic about being involved. This process is not much different than what it takes to get your initial program team together, so it may be useful to remind yourself of the steps involved.
Get the Word Out
People won't come to you if they don't know who you are! Make your presence known by passing out fliers at festivals and events, posting signs at churches, schools, and businesses, and utilizing internet forums, blogs or websites. Sending out mailings is another way to target specific groups of people, and can be useful in reaching out to your neighbors or local organizations.
Pull out Your Address Book
Don't forget the people you already know. Ask group members to compile lists of people they know personally who may be interested in joining your gardening group. Have everyone contact the people on their list, and then ask them if they know anyone else that may be interested as well. Ask your parents, siblings, and friends for people they know...you may be surprised at how many people you can contact this way!
Throw a Party!
Hosting an event at your garden - a picnic, barbeque, or concert - is an excellent way to introduce people to the members and goals of your group. Don't forget to send invitations out to your neighbors a week or so before the event, and make plenty of signs to publicize exactly what you are doing. Even the people who decide not to join you will feel included, and that is a great way to build support for your project. At events, make sure you ask people to sign a sign-up sheet land provide you with their contact information so that you can keep them updated on what's happening in the garden.
Don't Give Up
Even if a certain tactic didn't work once, that does not mean that it won't work the second or third time around. Seeking out new members for your team can sometimes be frustrating, time-consuming work, but just one committed recruit can make it all worth your while.
For more details on building a successful gardening team from the ground up, visit our Program Team page.