Adult Volunteer Programs

Make the most of your passion for plants and the natural world. Volunteer opportunities support nearly every area of our operations.

Requirements for joining the Adult Volunteer Program:

  • Be at least 18 years of age (here are Teen Volunteer Programs)
  • Submit a volunteer program interest form
  • Watch the new volunteer orientation video
  • Complete a volunteer placement interview
  • Complete a background check form
  • Attend a new volunteer onsite tour 


Opportunities at York Street

Visitor Experience

  • Docent Program: Guide tours and other on-site docent activities.
  • Ambassador Program: Provide visitors with accurate information and make their visitor experience memorable.
  • Gift Shop Volunteers: Work directly with staff to assist with duties in the Shop at the Gardens.

Children’s Education Programs

  • Mordecai Children’s Garden Exploration Leaders: Facilitate entertaining and educational activities and projects within the Children’s Garden.
  • School Tour Guides: Lead small groups of children through the program activities and facilitating their process of discovery.

Continuing Education Programs

  • Teaching Assistant (TA): Checking in participants, register walk-ins and help teacher with set-up and equipment.
  • Helen Fowler Library: Assist patrons with reference inquiries and locate library materials using the Library of Congress classification system.

Horticulture Programs

  • Garden Maintenance: Work directly with horticulture staff members on garden duties and answering visitor questions.
  • Integrated Pest Management: Examine assigned gardens for signs and symptoms of pests and diseases. Identify and collect pests.

Therapeutic Horticulture

  • Summer Sensory Program: Lead groups of older adults and/or those with disabilities through the Sensory Garden, and facilitate plant-based therapeutic activities.
  • Winter Green Program: Use plants to engage the senses of older adults and those with disabilities.

Affiliate Organization

  • The Guild: Volunteers can join this affiliate volunteer organization that has supported the Gardens for more than 40 years. This group contributes to the Gardens financially and through volunteer work.

Opportunities at Chatfield Farms

Visitor Experience

  • Ambassador: Volunteers will provide support for staff at the Earl J. Sinnamon Visitor Center and at the historical Hildebrand Ranch house by greeting visitors, answering general questions about the site and programs offered, and creating a welcoming environment for all.
  • Butterflies at Chatfield Farms​ Assistants: A partnership with the Butterfly Pavilion, volunteers will help staff greet visitors and provide basic interpretation of plants and butterflies and assist in basic care of plants in and around the butterfly house.

Children’s Education Programs

  • Education Volunteers: ​Volunteers will lead students Pre-K through 12th grade on a variety of hands-on educational programming relating to plants, eco-systems and life on the farm.

Horticulture Programs

  • Community Supporting Agriculture (CSA) Assistants: CSA volunteers assist in planting, weeding, harvesting, washing and distributing the fruits, vegetables and herbs grown at Chatfield Farms.
  • Horticulture Maintenance Volunteers: Horticulture volunteers help create and maintain the native plant, lavender, heirloom and experimental gardens including plant propagation, garden design and data collection.


New Volunteer Interest Forms for 2021 Adult Ongoing Volunteers are no longer being accepted. Please check back in January 2022 when our Adult Ongoing Volunteer onboarding will resume.

If you are interested in supporting the Gardens now, please visit our Special Events Volunteer page to sign up as a special events volunteer throughout the fall and winter seasons. 

Sign up for our e-newsletters!