WORK/PROJECT: This is the eleventh year in a row SEEDS offers projects in the Botanical Gardens in Reykjavík. The Botanical Gardens are an outdoor collection of living plants, founded in 1961 and it will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2021. 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 tending to the collection of perennials, alpine trees and shrubs in the garden. The garden organises guided tours and events throughout the summer and some groups of volunteers will assist in the preparation and practical work related to some of these events. The group of volunteers will be able to join them. These special events are all related to the general aim and work of the garden and some of them are carried out at 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 Fridays, when work finishes at 12:00 as a part of an ongoing research into shortening the working week. Volunteers have to be motivated to start work early in the morning, but in compensation they will have more free time in the afternoon.
No previous experience is necessary. As it is outdoors work, volunteers must 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. The facilities are basic with a kitchen, showers, and a washing machine. Everyone is expected to show consideration for their companions. Participants will sleep in shared rooms or dormitories. Please bring your own sleeping bag.
Please note that participants from other projects may also be staying in the same house. Volunteers will receive food supplies and be in charge of cooking and cleaning. Do not forget to bring some traditional/typical food, drinks, recipes, music, games or movies from your country for the international evening. Please be aware some items or ingredients may be expensive in Iceland and you will need to buy them yourselves or bring them from your country.
LOCATION: Reykjavík is a dynamic, modern city which lives in harmony with nature, using renewable energy sources such as geothermal power. About two thirds of the population of Iceland live in Reykjavík including the metropolitan area; 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 Atlantic. Visitors easily experience 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.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: Closest international Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ)
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 350 (Euros). The fee can either be transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid in cash on arrival. It includes transportation from the meeting point to the camp (on the first day) and the Golden Circle excursion
Meeting point will be at the SEEDS office in Reykjavík at 18:00 (6:00 pm) on 22 August. Participants that cannot arrive on time (later or delayed flights) will be sent information on how to reach the camp on their own.
Other excursions (South Shore, Hot River Hike, Snæfellsnes 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 may be cold or rainy, so we recommend bringing 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.