Volunteer Opportunity – Tree Planting in Culpepper, Virginia

April 5th, 2023

J Team Dairy was established in Culpeper, Virginia in 2002 by the Elgin family. They milk 220 cows focusing on strong herd genetics and high milk quality. The family farms 175 acres growing crops including corn, rye, and triticale. J Team Dairy is a member of Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA), proud producers of Maola Local Dairies products.

Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Maola Milk for a volunteer tree planting on Wednesday, April 5, at the J Team Dairy in Culpeper County, VA. Volunteers are needed for two shifts, one from 10 AM – 1 PM and the other from 1:30 PM to 4 PM, to help plant 450 native trees and shrubs along a tributary of Potato Run to enhance water quality and wildlife habitat as part of our Headwater Stream Initiative!

The Elgin Family approaches dairy farming with a focus on animal care and sustainability. In addition to the upcoming tree planting, the farm is working closely with MDVA, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and other environmental organizations to construct a bedded pack barn to reduce runoff to local streams and keep cows cool, clean, and dry. The farm also utilizes cover crop practices to keep soil and nutrients on the farm and out of local streams.

Volunteer activities include tree planting, which involves scalping (removing grass with a hoe), digging holes, planting, and pounding wooden stakes. If you sign up for an afternoon shift, an additional activity might include quality control checks of the planted areas. This is a family-friendly event, and volunteers of all ages are welcome! Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

We are also looking for a few volunteers for prep work on Tuesday, April 4, such as measuring and pounding wooden stakes to mark planting locations, organizing tree planting supplies, and scalping. This role is intended for volunteers with prior tree planting experience. Must be 18 or older.

This event is rain or shine. In the event of dangerous weather, we will reschedule the day’s planting. We will provide all of the necessary tools for planting, extra water, and snacks (no lunch will be provided – please pack your own). Volunteers are encouraged to wear boots or closed-toe shoes and clothing that they’re comfortable getting dirty. Please bring bottled water, sunscreen, and bug spray if needed. Terrain is mostly flat, with a short walk to the planting site. Please arrive 5-10 minutes before your shift begins, as we will be conducting a brief training and walking to the site together!

Please note that in addition to PEC’s liability form, we are also requiring that all volunteers sign a video/photo release form for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Inc. Please print and sign the form if you are able, or copies will be provided when you arrive at the event. Signing the release form is mandatory for participation as a photo and video crew will be present to document the day.

Parking Instructions: Look for parking signs near the barns. Volunteers with four-wheel drive vehicles can drive down towards the planting area (following signs) and park in the field, barring inclement weather.

***Please be aware that if you sign up for a time slot through SignupGenius, we are counting on you to attend and help us achieve our planting goals! We can’t do it without you, so please do let us know if you are no longer able to volunteer by contacting Robin Cross at rcross@pecva.org ***

To sign up and learn more, please click here.