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Seven Metro high school students (who like to get their hands dirty) are taking on prestigious leadership roles in Nashville's volunteer community.

Hands on Nashville has named ten high school students to it's Urban Agriculture Fellowship program and seven of them come from Metro Schools!

After a highly competitive application process last fall, ten outstanding young people were selected to serve as the inaugural class of Urban Agriculture Fellows. These inspiring students have already proven themselves to be real rock stars, having completed an intense two-day training session over the winter break. Throughout the spring, they will attend monthly workshops here at HON that will help them acquire the project development, volunteer management, public speaking, and organizational skills needed to become effective community leaders.

Students selected for this honor are:

  • Audaris Blades – Glencliff High School

  • Chloe Vaccaro – MLK Magnet High School

  • Daniel Pannock – University School of Nashville

  • Janie Liu – MLK Magnet High School

  • Lydea Adkins – Nashville School of the Arts

  • Michael Ding – MLK Magnet High School

  • Natalie Beck – Brentwood High School

  • Nick Dietrich – MLK Magnet High School

  • Rachel West – Brentwood High School

  • Sara Shaghaghi – MLK Magnet High School

READ MORE about these students and the Hands on Nashville Urban Agriculture Program.


Mayor HON 2012More than 2,000 volunteers got their hands dirty this past Saturday as part of the city's single largest day of service. For the 21st annual Hands On Nashville Day, 58 schools benefited from more than 8,000 hours of free labor in the form of landscaping, painting, and cleaning projects. New this year, HON added rain gardens to the list of services. By the end of the day, in partnership with Cumberland River Compact, rain gardens were built at 20 schools to help manage storm water and create a learning opportunity for the students.  


Haywood HON 2012At Haywood Elementary (pictured to the right, photograph by Caroline Price), nearly 100 volunteers spent the day pulling weeds, planting vegetables in the school's garden, painting walls, and more. According to Principal Melanie Schiff, "We are fortunate to have so many staff members who were willing give their time and guide the volunteers as they accomplished so many tasks in such a short period of time."

In a press release issued by HON, CEO Brian Williams said, "Whether volunteers spent their morning building rain gardens, painting cafeterias or beautifying school grounds, their efforts help build a strong community. We continue to be inspired by our neighbors’ willingness to lend time, talents and treasure to serve with Hands On Nashville during this annual event and throughout the year.”


According to Independent Sector research, the time volunteers donated made an estimated $174,320 economic impact, saving Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools significant resources. This is the 11th year Hands On Nashville has partnered with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.


Hands on Nashville is celebrating this year's Global Youth Service Day (Saturday, April 21) at its brand new Urban Farm - and invites you to be a volunteer farmer for a day!

The Urban Farm is run by Hands on Nashville staff and donates fresh produce to local non-profits serving low-income areas of Nashville. But it promises to be a lot of fun, too. Volunteers this Saturday can expect to:

  • make rain gardens

  • paint signs for vegetable beds

  • create garden paths

  • prepare beds for planting

ALL volunteers are welcome, ages 11 and up. Come on down and enjoy a day on the farm!

Who: Families, individuals, and groups are welcome. (All volunteers must be 11+.)

When: Saturday, April 21 – Two shifts available:

Morning: 8 a.m. to noon – REGISTER HERE

Afternoon: Noon to 4 p.m. – REGISTER HERE

How: Individuals – Sign up via the links above.

Groups – Contact caroline@hon.org; (615) 298-1108 Ext. 404

Questions? (615) 298-1108 Ext. 404; caroline@hon.org  

HON Urban Farm for Youth Service Day


meigs 11Wow, talk about a big response - Hands on Nashville Day has set a new record with more tha 1,600 people already signed up to help beautify Metro Schools!

The 20th annual Hands on Nashville Day is this Saturday, September 24, at 54 different schools. Volunteers will plant, paint, repair, rake, dig, and mulch until the schools look brand new inside and out. All of this volunteer labor is estimated to make a $145,000 economic impact.

To make it all happen, the Department of Maintenance and Operations has prepared:


  • 1,400 gallons of paint

  • 1,700 paint brushes

  • 504 rolls of tape

  • 380 plastic drop cloths

  • 400 roller covers and roller frames

  • 440-4 ft wood paint handles

  • 432-5 gallon buckets

  • 884-1 gallon pails

  • 8 bush / limb cutters

  • 450 yards of mulch

  • 65 wheelbarrows

  • 100 rakes

  • 80 shovels

  • 35 hedge trimmers

It's not too late to sign up, either. Head over to the Hands on Nashville website to register and get ready to work on Saturday!

Volunteers will be rewarded with the CMT One Country Celebration at 3rd & Lindsley at noon. There's really no reason to not sign up!


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