WORK/PROJECT: This is the ninth year in a row SEEDS offers projects in the Botanical Gardens in Reykjavík. The Botanic Garden is an outdoor collection of living plants, founded in 1961 and it celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2016. The garden’s main role is to conserve plants for education, research and delight. It conserves some 5000-plant species in eight plant collections. The collections give an idea of the enormous diversity of vegetation in the northern temperate zone. The garden is open to the public and free of charge.
SEEDS volunteers will be doing general park maintenance and assisting the horticultural staff attending the collection of perennials, alpines, trees and shrubs in the garden. The garden organizes guided tours and events throughout the summer and some groups of volunteers will assist in the preparation and practical work related to these events. These special events are all related to the general aim and work of the garden and some of them are carried out with a short notice.
The work can be repetitive as general gardening tasks tend to be and most of it is outdoors. The project starts early every weekday, working hours are from 8:00 - 15:00, except on Friday when work finishes at 12:00 as a part of an ongoing research into shortening the working week. Volunteers have to be motivated to join early in the morning, but they will have more free time in the afternoon.
No previous experience is necessary. As it is outdoors work, volunteers shall be ready to adapt and be flexible with the working and free-time schedule, as depending on the weather, we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned.
ACCOMMODATION: SEEDS volunteers will stay in an equipped house, in a beautiful setting in the Botanical Gardens of Reykjavík, which are located about 4 kilometres from the centre of the city. Volunteers will be sleeping in shared rooms/dorms in a sleeping bag accommodation. Please bring your own sleeping bag.
Please note that volunteers from other projects will also be staying in the same house. Volunteers will receive food supplies and be in charge of the cooking and cleaning activities. Do not forget some traditional/typical food and/or drinks from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: Reykjavik is a dynamic, modern city which lives in harmony with beautiful nature, using renewable energy sources such as geothermal power. About two thirds of the population of Iceland live in Reykjavik including the metropolitan area, or over 200,000 people.
The world’s northernmost capital bridges the Atlantic, between Europe and North America. Reykjavík is spread across a peninsula with a panoramic view of the mountains and the Ocean on almost all sides. Visitors experience easily the pure energy at the heart of Iceland's capital, whether from the boiling thermal energy underground, the natural green energy within the city and around it, or the lively culture and fun-filled nightlife.
In the area closer than 100 km from Reykjavík, there are several spectacular waterfalls, geysers, impressive coastline and the well-known geothermal Blue Lagoon spa to visit.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF).
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 250 (Euros), which can either be transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid for on arrival. The fee includes the transportation from the meeting point to the camp location (on the first and last day of the camp), and the Golden Circle excursion.
Meeting point will be at SEEDS office in Reykjavík at 18:00 (6:00 pm) on the first day of the camp. Participants that cannot arrive on time (later or delayed flights) will be sent information on how to reach the camp.
Other excursions (South Shore, Hot River hike, Snaefellsnes or Reykjanes Peninsula) can be arranged at discount fares for SEEDS participants in case there is additional free time after work or during the weekends.
Participants in this camp will have a free pass to access one of the largest swimming pools in Iceland, situated within walking distance from the camp’s accommodation.
Weather is unpredictable and it can be cold or rainy, be prepared to experience all kinds of weather. We recommend to bring good walking shoes/boots, warm and/or waterproof clothes (underlayers, overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats) as most of the tasks and activities take place outside.