green cap with environmental yellow and green cord

The UNT Environmental Volunteerism Graduation Cord (EVGC) recognizes students for their outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability through community volunteerism. With this unique, hand-dyed graduation cord, the We Mean Green Fund recognizes the volunteer efforts of students who promote environmental stewardship. 


EVGC Volunteer Requirements

All volunteer efforts must be environmentally focused

Monetary compensation must not be accepted for volunteer efforts

Hours must be completed during your time as a student at UNT

Reported volunteer efforts must not be considered as class requirements, course credit, employment, or court-ordered community service


EVGC Requirements 

To earn the EVGC, students must complete and report at least 75 hours of environmentally focused volunteer efforts during their time at UNT. Eligible graduate and transfer students are required to complete and report at least 50 hours during their time as a UNT student. Please review the full list of requirements associated with earning this graduation cord below before you report your volunteer efforts. 

The system allows you to report volunteer efforts from any event or cause that focuses on environmental stewardship. The We Mean Green Fund does not host regular volunteer efforts; to sign-up for environmentally focused volunteer efforts, please reach out to organizations that host opportunities you are interested in. Check the volunteer opportunities list below for ideas.


Registration Instructions

1. Fill out the EVGC Registration Form

2. Download the Self-Tracking Form

3. Volunteer for environmentally focused events and/or causes. See examples below! All volunteer efforts may be at any environmentally focused event or cause.  

4. Track your volunteer efforts on the corresponding ‘Self-Tracking Form’ downloaded in step 2.  

5. Email the finalized Self-Tracking Form with at least 75 qualifying (or, if qualifying, 50) volunteer hours to EnviroVolunteerismCord@unt.edu to file for completion by the deadline before your graduation date. Submit the form during your graduating semester by November 18th for fall graduation or April 26th for spring graduation.  

6. Once you have submitted your Self-Tracking Form, a staff member will reach out to you to schedule a graduation cord pick-up time!  


Looking for Volunteer Opportunities?

Below are a few options for getting involved on campus, in Denton, and in surrounding cities. You may seek additional environmental stewardship opportunities to fulfill the cord requirements. 

Adopt-a-Block – Denton, TX
           The Center for Leadership and Service at UNT offers the Adopt-a-Block program, which gives students, faculty, and staff the chance to participate in taking care of our campus. An organization or department can adopt a block on campus to keep clean for a whole year.

Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) – Fort Worth, TX
           The BRIT aims to provide meaningful experiences founded in education and community that engage and inspire people to appreciate plants and sustain our planet. The BRIT holds events to educate children and adults and includes opportunities to preserve botanical specimens in their extensive herbarium and maintain their multiple gardens and greenhouses.

City of Denton Volunteers – Denton, TX
           The city of Denton offers several opportunities for volunteers to get involved, including an annual Stream Clean event and events through the Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center.

Fort Worth Nature Center – Fort Worth, TX
           The mission of the Fort Worth Nature Center is to enroll and educate the community in the preservation and protection of natural areas. As a volunteer, you would have the opportunity to work in various areas such as a nature interpreter, canoe guide, restoration projects, and greenhouse maintenance.

Grow Southeast   Fort Worth, TX
           Grow Southeast provides support and resources to launch new community-operated farms within Fort Worth. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help plant produce, build structures, and so much more!

Keep Denton Beautiful – Denton, TX
           Keep Denton Beautiful's events focus on engaging the Denton community in creating a clean and beautiful city. KDB offers opportunities like annual tree plantings, litter cleanups, and educational programs for children and adults.

Live Green – Plano, TX
           Live Green aims to help volunteers get community involvement through sustainability and environmental education. Volunteer programs include gardening in the Plano Community Garden and assisting in events like the Great American Cleanup and Texas Recycle Days.

LLELA –  Lewisville, TX  

          LLELA (Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area) immerses volunteers in hands-on techniques used in ecological restoration. Through this experience, students will learn and appreciate what it takes to put nature back to the way it should be. If interested, email Richard Freiheit

Pollinative Prairie – Denton, TX
           In 2016, UNT’s students, staff, and faculty-initiated this project through the UNT We Mean Green Fund to promote conservation and sustainable urban landscaping of native habitats to benefit declining pollinator populations like the monarch butterfly and American bumblebee. The prairie is always looking for help to maintain the 4-acre plot of native flowers and grasses.

Ray Roberts Lake State Park – Denton, TX
           Ray Roberts Lake State Park is located just ten miles north of Denton and is home to walking and horse riding trails, beach areas, and picnic areas. Volunteer programs include general maintenance of trails, educational opportunities with visitors, and more!

Shiloh Field – Denton, TX
           Beginning in 2011, Shiloh Field has quickly become the largest community garden in the United States. Shiloh Field has grown 240,000 pounds of produce in its ten years of operation. Volunteer and help them to feed our community - and the communities of so many others!

Texas Parks and Wildlife 
           Texas is home to over 90 state parks, which all provide volunteer opportunities! With opportunities ranging from research to environmental education, you are sure to find a program that is right for you. 

Trinity River Audubon Center – Dallas, TX
           Located just ten miles south of downtown Dallas, the Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States and supports a diverse community of plants and animals. As a volunteer, you would have the opportunity to restore native habitats like wetlands and prairies and lead educational field trip programs for school groups in the DFW area!

UNT Community Garden – UNT Main Campus
           Regardless of gardening experience, the UNT Community Garden is a great place for beginner and master gardeners! Located behind Legends Hall, the garden hosts workdays throughout the year for maintenance activities such as pulling weeds and planting new flower beds. All supplies are provided, and workdays are free and open to the UNT community.


Thanks to student volunteers at the UNT Natural Dye Garden and previous members of the UNT Fibers Collective, these graduation cords are specially customized each year. The cords are 100% natural cotton and hand-dyed by UNT students with natural dyes from the UNT Natural Dye Garden. The yellow base of the cords is created by immersing the cords in a dye bath of goldenrod, marigold, yarrow, or sunflower. Each growing season at the UNT Natural Dye Garden determines the available colors for the cord dyeing process. Follow the UNT Natural Dye Garden on Instagram @unt_naturaldyegarden


To learn more about the Environmental Volunteerism Graduation Cord, read the following article: "We Mean Green: UNT Students Graduate with Environmental Volunteerism Cord"

For questions about the Environmental Volunteerism Graduation Cord, email EnviroVolunteerismCord@unt.edu.


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