Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Education Opportunities

Docent

A Docent is an ambassador to the Garden, engaging visitors with information on plants and habitats.  Through their interactions, docents inspire in visitors a love of nature, plants, and gardening. A typical docent has an outgoing personality and enjoys sharing their passion for nature and gardening with the general public.

Qualifications:  Basic knowledge of plants and nature, and a love for talking to people about the outdoors.  This is an ideal position for a Master Gardener or Master Naturalist looking for volunteer hours or a retired educator.  This is a great opportunity for education students looking for some hands-on experience.  Interpretive information will be provided. Volunteers must enjoy and be comfortable talking to people. Volunteers should be comfortable hiking the paths of the Garden and being outside for 2-3 hours at a time. 

Days needed:   Tuesday through Friday, April 1 to October 31.  Occasional Saturdays or Sundays, for special events or programs. 

The number of hours required:  A 3-4 hour session, once a week, is preferred. 

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Staff educational stations in the Garden with information and activities on plant-related topics (all information and materials will be provided).
  • Interact with people of all ages, from children to adults.
  • Assist Education staff with programs, including set up and clean up.
  • Other tasks, as needed, such as simple maintenance and upkeep of education classroom and spaces, Nature Play Area, Log house, and weeding of the Pioneer Garden.

Next steps:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application.
  • Participate in a 20-30 minute interview.
  • Have a clear criminal background check and child abuse history.
  • Submit for FBI fingerprinting or sign a waiver if eligible.
  • Have reliable transportation to the Garden.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation and other applicable training.
  • Commit to a minimum of 2 three-hour shifts per month, from April to October.
  • Commit to a regular monthly schedule.

 

Garden Guide

A Garden Guide engages tour groups, leading them through the Garden, sharing the history of the grounds, and the Garden’s mission. Through their tours, Garden Guides inspire a love of nature and a sense of environmental responsibility. A typical Garden Guide can command the attention of a group, either large or small while sharing their passion for the Garden in an engaging way.

Qualifications:  An interest in local history and basic knowledge of plants will be helpful.   Interpretive information will be provided. Volunteers must enjoy and be comfortable talking to people. Volunteers should be comfortable hiking the paths of the Garden and being outside for 2 hours at a time. 

Days needed:   Tuesday through Friday, April 1 to October 31.  Occasional Saturdays or Sundays, for special events or programs. 

The number of hours required:  A 2-hour tour, at least once a month, is preferred. 

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Attend multiple pieces of training, and demonstrate familiarity with the tour script provided by staff; be willing to shadow staff or more seasoned volunteers.
  • Lead groups of 10-20 people on a 1-2 hour tour through the Garden.
  • Interact with people of all ages, from children to adults.
  • Assist Education staff with programs, including set up and clean up.
  • Other tasks, as needed.

Next steps:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application.
  • Participate in a 20-30 minute interview.
  • Have a clear criminal background check and child abuse history.
  • Submit for FBI fingerprinting or sign a waiver if eligible.
  • Have reliable transportation to the Garden.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation and other applicable training.
  • Commit to a minimum of 1 two-hour tour per month, from April to October.

 

Youth Education

Help inspire our next generation of environmental stewards by assisting our education staff with youth programs and field trips! Programs can include field trips, camps, off-site outreach, or special events. A typical volunteer genuinely enjoys working with children helping to connect youth to nature.

Qualifications:  Experience working with school-aged children is preferred.  All curriculum information and equipment will be provided. Volunteers should have an interest in natural history and should be comfortable presenting information in a way that is engaging for children and young adults. Volunteers should also be comfortable hiking the paths of the Garden for 2 hours at a time. 

Days needed:   Tuesday through Friday.  Most opportunities happen from April 1 to October 31, with less frequent opportunities in the winter months. 

The number of hours required:  A 3-hour session, at least twice a month, is preferred. 

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Assist Education staff with programs or field trips, including set up and clean up.
  • Interact with people of all ages, from children to adults.
  • Other tasks, as needed, such as simple maintenance and upkeep of education classroom and spaces, Log house, and weeding of the Pioneer Garden.

Next steps:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application.
  • Participate in a 20-30 minute interview.
  • Have a clear criminal background check and child abuse history.
  • Submit for FBI fingerprinting or sign a waiver if eligible.
  • Have reliable transportation to the Garden.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation and other applicable training.
  • Commit to a minimum of 2 two-hour sessions per month, from April to October.

Horticulture Opportunities

Regular Horticulture Volunteer

Do you have a green thumb or want to learn more about plants? The horticulture department at the Garden is looking for adult volunteers to join our horticulture volunteer teams. A typical volunteer project might include: weeding display gardens; preparing beds for new plantings; planting, transplanting, and deadheading garden plants, and installing deer fencing around plants and trees.

Qualifications:  Basic horticulture knowledge is helpful but not required. All tools and equipment will be provided. Horticulture volunteers work rain or shine, so please dress for the weather. Volunteers should also be comfortable outside on the paths of the Garden for 3 hours at a time. 

Days needed: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from April through October. 

The number of hours required: Volunteers are asked to give one morning (9am-12pm) a week for all or part of the growing season (April – October).

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Assist Horticulture staff with outdoor projects, as directed.
  • Volunteers must follow all Garden rules while on the property.

Next steps:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application.
  • Participate in a 20-30 minute interview.
  • Have a clear criminal background check and child abuse history.
  • Submit for FBI fingerprinting or sign the waiver if eligible.
  • Have reliable transportation to the Garden.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation and other applicable training.
  • Commit to a minimum of 1 three-hour session per week, from April to October.

 

Grow the Garden Day Volunteer

Don’t have previous gardening experience? No problem! Join us for Grow the Garden Day! These fun, active days take place the last Wednesday of each month during our growing season (April through October) from 9 am to 12 pm. Volunteers will assist our horticulture staff with a variety of gardening projects, allowing you to gain practical experience in a social environment.

Qualifications:  This is a great opportunity for either groups or individuals interested in volunteering at the Garden. No gardening experience necessary. All tools and equipment will be provided. Grow the Garden Days take place rain or shine, so please dress for the weather and bring a bottle of water. Volunteers should also be comfortable outside on the paths of the Garden for 3 hours at a time. 

Days needed: 9 am to 12 pm on the last Wednesday of each month, from April through October. 

The number of hours required: Grow the Garden Days are commitment free. Volunteers are not required to sign up every month. Come one month or every month, it’s up to you. Please find a list of dates on the registration page.  Also please note that a full volunteer application is not required for this opportunity. 

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Assist Horticulture staff with outdoor projects, including trail maintenance, removal of invasive species, weeding, and other tasks as needed.
  • Volunteers must follow all Garden rules while on the property.

Next steps:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Register online here.
  • Have reliable transportation to the Garden.

Special Events & Guest Services Opportunities

Garden Monitor

Monitors are the eyes and ears of the Garden! Volunteers walk the Garden paths to monitor for possible safety concerns, answer visitor questions, and perform light path maintenance. A typical monitor enjoys being outdoors, has keen observational skills, and is a dedicated steward of the Garden.

Qualifications:  Familiarity with the Gardens and its grounds may be helpful.  Information on Garden areas, common visitor questions, and necessary supplies will be provided. Volunteers must enjoy interacting with visitors and be comfortable answering questions. Volunteers should be comfortable hiking the paths of the Garden and being outside for 2-3 hours at a time. 

Days needed:   Saturday and Sunday, April 1 to October 31 during the Gardens operating hours.  Occasional opportunities for weekdays and evenings, during special events or programs. 

The number of hours required:  A 3-4 hour session, at least once a month, is preferred. 

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Walk the garden paths to monitor possible safety concerns and answer visitor questions.
  • Interact with people of all ages, from children to adults.
  • Remind visitors of Garden rules and etiquette when necessary.
  • Report relevant observations to Garden staff.

Next steps:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application.
  • Participate in a 20-30 minute interview.
  • Have a clear criminal background check and child abuse history.
  • Submit for FBI fingerprinting or sign a waiver if eligible.
  • Have reliable transportation to the Garden.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation and other applicable training.
  • Commit to a minimum of 1 three-hour shift per month, from April to October.
  • Commit to a regular monthly schedule.

 

Special Events

Special Event Volunteers assist our event staff with a variety of tasks necessary to make our events memorable! This includes a variety of duties such as set-up or clean-up, registration/greeting, or various special event activities. A typical Special Event Volunteer is outgoing, enjoys working in a team environment, and is dedicated to creating a welcoming guest experience.

Qualifications:  Volunteers must enjoy interacting with visitors and be flexible in the tasks they are assigned. They should also have the ability to take direction from staff and then work semi-independently. Some events take place outside and volunteers should be comfortable hiking the paths of the Garden and being outdoors for 2-3 hours at a time. 

Days needed:   Variable.  Opportunities arise at least once a month, from January 1 to December 31. 

The number of hours required:  A 3-4 hour session, at least once a month, is preferred. 

Volunteer responsibilities:

  • Greet visitors at the Welcome Center or outdoors, provide directions and information, and monitor the gift shop.
  • Staff stations in the Garden with information, activities, or food (depending on the event).
  • Interact with people of all ages, from children to adults.
  • Assist staff with standard event tasks, including set up and clean up, greeting, and answering basic questions.
  • Other tasks, as needed.

Next steps:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Submit an online application.
  • Participate in a 20-30 minute interview.
  • Have a clear criminal background check and child abuse history.
  • Submit for FBI fingerprinting or sign a waiver if eligible.
  • Have reliable transportation to the Garden.
  • Attend new Volunteer Orientation and other applicable training.
  • Commit to a minimum of 1 three-hour shift per month, from April to October.