Help protect the environment and earn grant funds for your neighborhood.
If you are environmentally conscientious, live in the City of Fort Lauderdale, and can offer at least four hours per month, we encourage you to become a "Green Your Routine" (GYR) volunteer.
Volunteering provides opportunities to meet new people in and outside of your neighborhood, to get involved in City government and to participate actively in the City’s sustainability efforts-- all while having fun.
GYR volunteers work with City staff and local associations to promote recycling, environmental stewardship and resource conservation. By volunteering, you can earn funds for your neighborhood or condominium association.
For FY2017-2018, $29,148.75 in grant funds was distributed among 23 Fort Lauderdale homeowners associations.
Why is this good for our City?
Our volunteers help us to meet City needs and Sustainability Action Plan goals through activities that reflect the spirit of Green Your Routine. There are many volunteer opportunities each year. You can help remove invasive plants and plant native ones. You can clean up our waterways and beaches. You can help baby turtles during nesting season. You can present on any environmental topic at your child’s school, camp or organization. You can start a Community Garden. And of course, you can still help to increase the volume and quality of recycling in our City. In addition, a portion of the money that volunteers earn for their neighborhoods must be invested in sustainable projects or related education, such as planting trees, replacing entrance way lighting, and reducing public space irrigation needs. This further helps us to meet the goals of our City’s Sustainability Action Plan.
Isn’t GYR just a recycling program?
The original GYR Volunteer corps was formed within our old Office of Recycling in order to increase awareness and participation specifically in recycling. It was very successful in increasing recycling participation, and decreasing the amount of waste sent to landfills, both of which help to keep sanitation costs low. The program was purposefully focused and very successful in achieving its goals. The associated Sustainability Incentive Grant(SIG), formerly the RIG, which returns money to associations for their volunteer efforts, has become a model of how volunteerism can generate even greater returns on the investment for the City and for its neighborhoods.
We are always expanding the GYR volunteer program. For example, the SIG was recently enhanced to give credit for neighborhoods hosting sustainability-related events that are open to the public (See the SIG Neighborhood Event Form). We are in the process of looking at how we can even further expand the official GYR Volunteer Corps to incorporate all of our City’s sustainability-related volunteerism. We are also looking at the possibility of expanding the Sustainability Incentive Grant program to businesses, schools and other groups. Watch this website for updates.
So, what is a "Green Your Routine Volunteer” right now?
GYR Volunteers are homeowners’ association (HOA) members that earn grant funds for their associations. They work directly with the City Parks & Recreation Sustainability Coordinator to promote waste reduction and recycling in our community and they earn points for other sustainability volunteerism as well.
Neighborhood associations may appoint one resident or a group of residents to represent the neighborhood to earn dollars for the HOA under the SIG.
What will you be asked to do?
There are many opportunities to share information on sustainability with other City of Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors, and you can choose the activities that best suit you based on your time schedule, comfort level, and style. From hanging door hangers to working behind the scenes at City events, whatever you choose, you can count on making a difference.
Take recycling as an example. You might assist City staff at festivals and special events by manning information tables or with recycling operations. You might sign up to generate awareness and educate residents about recycling in your own neighborhood. You may volunteer to serve as a recycling captain for your condominium building, or if you enjoy writing, you may want to consider developing articles for neighborhood association newsletters.
Do volunteers meet?
Yes, they meet to recieve information from the City, share their experiences, trade helpful materials and knowledge, and just to get to know each other. Registered volunteers meet the SECOND Monday of EVERY OTHER month. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the City of Fort Lauderdale Sanitation Administration Building, located at 220 SW 14th Avenue.
How does my association earn money?
The Parks & Recreation Sustainability Coordinator develops specific activities for each year's SIG. Each of the activities is worth a set amount of points. In September of each year, representatives submit an application documenting points earned during the fiscal year, which is October 1 – September 30. The SIG is presented to each participating community at a City Commission meeting. In addition, volunteers receive a thank you gift from the City for their participation and support of the program. To see how much your efforts can bring back to your association, take a look at the 2015-2016 SIG Award Results.
How do I sign up?
To become a volunteer, please contact your neighborhood homeowners' association and let the President or a designated public liaison or committee organizer know that you are interested in participating. Review the SIG Program Frequently Asked Questions, and complete and submit your application according to the instructions.
To contact the GYR Volunteers, or to schedule a presentation at one of their meetings, please contact our Parks & Recreation Sustainability Coordinator.