We are not currently accepting Arkansas GardenCorps service member or service site positions. However, we are exploring utilizing AmeriCorps NCCC teams to serve our communities’ garden assistance needs. Please email Cale Nicholson at cmnicholson@uams.edu if you’re interested. 

Arkansas GardenCorps is an AmeriCorps program hosted by the Access to Healthy Foods Research Group at the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute in Little Rock, Arkansas. The mission of Arkansas GardenCorps is to promote the use of school and community gardens to provide nutrition education with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity and to increase environmental awareness and sustainable agriculture practices in Arkansas communities. Members assist Service Sites across the state of Arkansas with the following objectives:

  • Development and maintenance of school and community gardens
  • Garden-based nutrition education for youth and adults
  • Recruitment of volunteers to support the sustainability of gardens
  • Increase access to fresh produce grown in gardens

A member’s acceptance into the Arkansas GardenCorps AmeriCorps program is dependent on the results of his or her sex offender, criminal history, FBI checks, drug screen and nicotine screen (ACH is a nicotine-free campus beginning May 1, 2015). Members must be must be 18 years old or older in order to apply and must be a high school graduate in order to use their education award.

* Living Allowance (Gross) is determined based on advertised start date above. Stipend amounts after the listed start date above are prorated based on the Service Member's actual start date and the end date of August 26, 2018.

** Receipt of education award is dependent upon successful completion of service term, which includes completing the required number of hours and successful completion of service activities.

Essential functions of the position include

Garden duties:

  • Seeding, planting, overseeing, harvesting produce
  • Weeding, watering, thinning crops, bed amending and maintenance, fertilizing and pesticide control
  • Construction of garden infrastructure (such as raised beds and irrigation)
  • Maintaining tidiness of common areas
  • Building, maintenance and utilization of rainwater harvest systems, vermicompost bins, and 3-bin compost systems
  • Processing and transporting crops to consumer (produce stand, restaurant, food rescue, etc.)
  • Operating heavy equipment (tiller, tractor, trench digger)

Educational duties:

  • Providing garden-based education and nutrition education to youth and adults through structured lessons and/or workshops and training
  • Coordinating and assisting with the delivery of at least one 6-lesson Cooking Matters for Kids and/or Teens course
  • Incorporating educational components into social events at the garden, such as volunteer workdays
  • Managing gardens’ resources, such as tools and equipment

Sustainability duties:

  • Organizing community outreach events
  • Coordinating/logging volunteers and their hours and scheduling work days
  • Publicizing gardens’ volunteer needs and events through traditional and social media
  • Very small amount of donation procurement, fundraising, and/or grant writing to assist with procurement of materials and funds directly benefiting the garden and its programming

Access duties:

  • Distribution of produce to local food banks
  • Sharing of produce with local community members
  • Assisting with the establishment of home gardens, or inviting community members into the garden to pick their own produce

Other duties:

  • Attend an orientation in Little Rock prior to the first day of service
  • Attend bimonthly Arkansas GardenCorps trainings in Little Rock
  • Complete monthly progress reports and submit to ARGC
  • Log time in an online database on a weekly basis
  • Participate in regular email and phone communication with ARGC staff
  • Participate in all duties as described in the Service Site’s Service Member Position Description

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Preferred

  • Knowledge of gardening (knowledge of sustainable gardening is preferred)
  • Effective communication, leadership and community organizational skills
  • Teaching/training/public speaking experience preferred but not required 

Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands

  • Willingness to serve in outdoor environments, in all weather conditions
  • Ability to lift at least 25 lbs and perform garden related physical activities
  • Ability to work independently and make informed decisions
  • Ability to work cooperatively and compassionately with a diverse community

Please let us know about your program and interest in Arkansas GardenCorps as either a service site or service member by completing this short survey.