Home Around Town 6 Ways to Do Good (and Get Outside!)

6 Ways to Do Good (and Get Outside!)

Get up, get out & make a difference this spring with these outdoor activities.

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The Town of Carrboro holds two cleanups annually, Keep Carrboro Beautiful Day in the spring and Make a Difference Day in the fall. Photo courtesy Galen Poythress, Town of Carrboro

1. Coinciding with EaScreen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.00.09 AMrth Day, Keep Carrboro Beautiful Day – this year held on April 23 from 9-11 a.m. – is a great opportunity for the whole family to give back. Local groups and individual participants gather to clean up the town’s greenways, sidewalks, schools and other local areas in an effort to keep the watershed and local streams clean. To get involved, contact Galen Poythress at jpoythress@townofcarrboro.org.

2. Individual, group and youth volunteers of all skill levels – even those who have never picked up a hammer  – are welcome to build with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. This month, there are some special builds such as the sixth annual CEO Build on April 12 and Women Build Day on April 30. Remember to wear comfortable clothes and closed-toed athletic shoes or work boots and pack sunscreen. Sign up at orangehabitat.org/volunteer.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.20.40 AM3. Wild at heart? Visit Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro. You can become a dedicated member of their animal care team (read more below), take part more casually as a tour guide or help out with the rescue’s construction needs for animal enclosures.

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4. Passionate about produce? Volunteers are regularly needed at Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market and Carrboro Farmers’ Market to assist shoppers at the welcome booth, help set up tents or collect donations for Farmer Foodshare at Chapel Hill’s market. You can also participate in youth programming like children’s cooking classes in Carrboro (beginning in June on Wednesdays) or lend a hand with special events like Carrboro’s Annual Tomato Seedling Giveaway (April 30) or The Strawberry Jamboree (May 21).

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Carrboro Cooks! kids cooking classes are held beginning in June throughout the summer.

Volunteers are especially needed for events at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market such as Tomato Day, during which over 5,000 people visit to sample about 20 of the over 70 locally-grown varieties of tomatoes sold at the market.


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Photo courtesy Jennifer Peterson, North Carolina Botanical Garden
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Photo courtesy Jennifer Peterson, North Carolina Botanical Garden

5. The North Carolina Botanical Garden is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which means volunteers have offered assistance for a half-century. Help maintain the vegetable gardens for UNC housekeepers or the nature trails like Battle Park. Become a tour guide or assist in plant propagation in the horticulture department. The gardens currently host about 900 volunteers in more than 23 separate opportunities, so there are plenty of excuses to get your hands in the dirt this spring. Visit ncbg.unc.edu to complete an online application.

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Photo courtesy Nicole Smedley

6. Inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through the act of running, Girls on the Run of the Triangle is always looking for volunteers to move with their participantScreen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.39.03 AMs. If you’ve got the time, become a coach and work twice a week with a group of girls throughout the 12-week season. GOTR also needs adults to take on the duties of a Running Buddy or lend a helping hand at events such as the 14th Annual Girls on the Run Spring 5K held at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham on April 16. To get involved, go to gotrtriangle.org.  CHM


Associate Editor Laura Zolman Kirk is a Kentuckian turned Chapel Hillian and totally in love with this special slice of North Carolina.