Volunteering, Internships & Work Exchange
Over the past years, the help of volunteers has
been invaluable. Many incredible projects have been accomplished
through the help of volunteers. We really appreciate this help and
always enjoy working with volunteers.
We periodically host work weekends. These are
always a lot of fun and we get a lot done! Announcements for these
weekends go out over our email list, but also check the calendar of
At this time we are seeking volunteers in four
main areas - creation and maintenance of the Sanctuary; office work,
research and events coordination. If you can help out for a day, a
weekend, a week, or longer, please let us know! Thank you.
1. Creation and Maintenance of the Sanctuary
Sanctuary work - Creation and
maintenance of the Sanctuary takes a lot of work. Existing stone
sanctuaries require the clearing of leaves, twigs and other detritus in
the spring, and clearing of some vegetation is necessary in the summer.
We are always involved in the ongoing creation of new sanctuaries and
are currently planning the creation of a hedgerow labyrinth in one of
Organic gardening - Starseed currently
has an organic vegetable garden, a number of fruit trees, an herb
garden and numerous flower gardens. We need help with upkeep of
existing gardens, and are seeking to expand both our herb gardens and
flower gardens. We welcome creative gardening designs.
Landscaping and grounds keeping - A
large part of maintenance of the Sanctuary is upkeep of the lawns. We
have traditionally mowed the majority of our fields, but rotate some of
them so as to allow the growth of wildflowers and wild blueberries.
Trail Maintenance - We have a number
of trails that wind throughout the fields and forest at Starseed. These
trails are pretty self-sustaining, but we are interested in expanding
our trail system to cover some of the back acres and wetland areas.
Building Repair - Starseed is
currently raising funds to make large scale repairs on their main
building, the Retreat House. It houses all of the sleeping quarters and
the kitchen and eating area. There are a number of repairs that need to
be completed to bring it up to code and make it safe and fully licensed
to serve hot meals.
2. Office Work
Graphic design - We need
assistance with the layout and design of our brochures, newsletter and
Web site maintenance - We are
currently in the process of designing a new website and will need
assistance with updating it once it is complete.
Marketing - We are in need of
assistance with the marketing of Starseed's programs and events.
Media Promotion and Sales - In the
promotion of Starseed, we are working on making a slideshow to
introduce people to the Sanctuary. We would also like to have a brief
movie made about Starseed. Additionally, we use lots of photographs of
the land in the promotion of the Sanctuary. Any experience and
assistance with filming, photography and editing would be of use. We
are also interested in selling some media to generate income and have
started a line of Sanctuary greeting cards featuring pictures of the
We have a number of needs for research at this
time in the areas of sustainable building, renewable energy, and
environmental land management.
Sustainable Building: Starseed is
interested in constructing new buildings on the property in the most
sustainable way possible. Students are needed to research sustainable
building materials, designs and cost effectiveness for small 1-4 person
retreat cabins. Example: straw bale houses.
Renewable Energy: Starseed is
interested in using renewable energy. Students are needed to research,
design and install different types of renewable energy that
best fit with the needs and environment at Starseed. Example: Use of
solar panels on one or more of the buildings.
Environmental Land Management:
Starseed is interested in exploring the options for putting part of
their 130 acres in a Land Trust. Additionally, Starseed in would like
to expand the network of existing trails on the property. Students are
needed to research, survey the land and build trails.
4. Events Coordination
We have a variety of ongoing, annual and one-time
events which we need help with.
Ongoing events - On the first Sunday
of every month we hold Prayers for the Earth and the People of the
Earth and will now be offering Consciousness Raising Sessions to follow
the prayers. We need assistance with organizing and advertising for
these events, setting up and breaking them down. Other on-going events
include solstice and equinox ceremonies.
Annual events include our annual fundraising auction and a new annual
environmental art week. These events also require publicity, set-up and
and Independent Projects
We offer a variety of internships and independent
projects. If you are interested, we can work with your acadcaping, and sanctuary creation and
maintenance. This internship includes the possibility of some research
but mostly hands-on work. Starseed has a variety of organic fruit,
vegetable, herb and flower gardens, the intern would be involved in the
upkeep and maintenance of all of these. This includes preparing of the
earth, planting of seeds, maintenance of the plants as they grow,
harvesting, and finally, some eating of the foods. The intern will
assist with the maintenance of a variety of perennial gardens and with
the planting and maintenance of annual gardens. We create all of our
gardens with a sense of sacred geometry, with the layout of plants in
The landscaping portion of the internship involves
trail creation and maintenance through the wooded areas and requires
comfort with the use of tools. The final portion of this internship
involves the creation and maintenance of the Sanctuary. Numerous stone
grottos, a medicine wheel, a labyrinth, sweat lodges and other
creations dot the land. These structures require some maintenance
including removal of excess vegetation. We are always creating new
parts of the Sanctuary, and this summer we are planning a hedgerow
labyrinth. Research topics include a feasibility study on commercial
herb or wildflower production and the establishment and maintenance of
institution to see if you can receive credit.
Organic Gardening and Landscaping
The intern can be involved in all or a combination of the following
areas - organic gardening, lands
Environmental Art Internship
Last summer a group of international artists came to Starseed for our
first annual environmental art week. Artists created various
installations using the elements of the land. At the end of the week,
we held an open house and invited the public to view the installations
and a number of performances. This year, we are organizing another
environmental art week and will be inviting the public to participate.
The intern would be involved with the organization of this event
-inviting artists, scheduling logistics, publicity, and event
management. Other projects the intern would be involved with include a
number of EarthConnect events at Starseed which will focus on
environmental art and the organization of a nature photography contest.
The individual shall explore issues relating to the establishment of an
eco-village at Starseed. Research shall include: creating a
working definition of an eco-village suitable for Starseed and the
examination of existing eco-villages in the area; analyzing the
ramifications of the phrases, "living lightly on the earth" and
"permaculture," in the planning an eco-community; cataloging different
sustainable construction techniques; ascertaining the feasibility of
composting toilets and grey water systems and their acceptance by the
town Board of Health; exploration of the role of wetlands, both natural
and constructed, on the site; gathering information on organic
gardening and farming methods especially regarding what is required to
support an on-site population; the investigation of potential products
from the forest for consumption and other uses; gathering information
on the generation of power through wind and mini-hydro
plants; and bringing to awareness any other issues regarding
sustainability and self-sufficiency and how these will effect the
creation of the eco-village.
Graphic Design; Photo Editing; Film Making and/or
The individual would be involved in all or a combination of the
following areas based on their experience and interest: graphic design,
photo editing, film making, and/or website creation. In the area of
graphic design, the individual would work on the layout and design of a
number of Starseed publications and brochures. In the area of
photo-editing, the individual would edit photographs not only for
publications but also for the Starseed line of Sanctuary greeting cards
featuring pictures of the land and also for a Starseed Sanctuary
calendar. In the area of film making, we would like to have a film
about Starseed which could serve as an introductory tool. We will need
footage of not only the places at Starseed, but also the people who
come here and the things that happen. Finally, we are in the process of
creating our first website. The individual could take on the entire
design of the website, or could work on it in conjunction with others.
Work-exchanges are available on a temporary basis. In exchange for
lodging, individuals spend 20 hours a week cooking for retreats,
programs, and workshops; cleaning the retreat house; doing organic
gardening and landscaping in the summer months; assisting with office
work and doing carpentry if skills permit.
The work component of a work-study position at Starseed involves the
work listed under the work-exchange position. For the study component,
students will receive some mentoring in their areas of interest and can
participate in workshops on a wide variety of topics from holistic
health to personal growth and empowerment and earth stewardship.