Teen volunteers banner

Teen Volunteer Programs

If you know someone who is social, curious and likes to learn about plants and science, these volunteer programs are a perfect fit.

Summer Teen Volunteer Program

Program for teens between the age of 13 years old to graduating seniors. Participating teens explore a variety of volunteer experiences related to both horticulture and guest engagement opportunities at Denver Botanic Gardens. Teens will choose a volunteer track based on their interests and expertise.


  • Students between 13 years of age to graduating senior
  • Volunteer at least once a week throughout the summer session; June 1 – August 5 (two weeks of absences are permitted)
  • Participate in at least one volunteer shift at Plains Conservation Center (east Aurora location)
  • Participate in at least one volunteer shift at Chatfield Farms (Littleton location)

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2023 Summer Teen Volunteer Program.


Horticulture Track

Gives teens the opportunity to sign up for horticulture project days at three Denver Botanic Gardens sites: York Street, Chatfield Farms and Plains Conservation Center. Working alongside horticulture staff, teens will learn the basics of garden maintenance, planting and landscape design. Teens will also have project days focused on plant research, environmental conservation and plant specimen preservation.

Volunteer Shifts Include:

  • Garden maintenance: weeding, planting, mulching
  • CSA program assistant: harvesting, washing produce
  • Pest management
  • Behind-the-scenes tours
  • Lead children's gardening activities


Guest Engagement Track

Gives teens the opportunity to volunteer in our guest engagement needs at three Denver Botanic Gardens sites: York Street, Chatfield Farms and Plains Conservation Center. Volunteer shifts include greeting visitors, assisting staff during special events, and learning how to communicate art and science with the public. Teen volunteers will learn how to share information and lead activities for visitors with mentorship from Denver Botanic Gardens’ staff. 

Volunteer Shifts Include:

  • Music at the Gardens event assistant
  • Gift Shop greeter
  • Science Chats with visitors
  • Behind-the-scenes tours
  • Lead children’s science activities


Junior Counselor Program

Program Summary: The Junior Counselor program provides teenagers (ages 13-15) the opportunity to work with children, peers and adults. Junior Counselors will work alongside staff during one full week of Denver Botanic Gardens’ children’s summer camp. They will assist with activities and help campers enjoy and learn from their camp experience. Teens can apply for just the Junior Counselor Program or in conjunction with the Summer Teen Volunteer program.

Length of Commitment: Junior Counselors must commit to volunteering for an entire week of camp, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Junior Counselors will be assigned to a specific week of camp before the summer begins, and they must attend all days of the camp to which they are assigned (excluding absences due to illness/injury/emergency).

Opportunity available at both York Street and Chatfield Farms.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assist counselors in setting up materials and cleaning up after each activity
  • Assist counselors in providing a safe and healthy environment for all participants
  • Assist campers in completing activities


  • Teens must be between 13-15 years to be eligible
  • Attend required training session (date TBD)
  • Comfortable working with younger kids (with support from camp staff)
  • Serve as a positive role model for campers

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2023 Junior Counselor Program​​​​​​​.


For more information about the Summer Teen Volunteer Program or the Junior Counselor Program, email vol@botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3609.

Gardens Teen Leaders Program

(High School students)

The Gardens Teen Leaders Program (GTL) is a leadership program for high school students that are interested in the many workings of Denver Botanic Gardens, including both horticulture and guest engagement. This group meets twice monthly from September – May. Teens will participate in a variety of different volunteer activities, including garden maintenance, behind-the-scenes tours, guest engagement and science communication; all of which benefit the Gardens and the surrounding community.


  • Must have been an active Denver Botanic Gardens volunteer during the 2022-2023 GTL year and/or summer of 2023 in order to be considered for the program.
  • Must be attending high school in the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Must be motivated to collaborate and work others.
  • Must be willing to participate in both guest engagement and horticulture-related volunteer needs.
  • Attend monthly GTL meetings; three absences are permitted. The majority of meetings will be at York Street, but some will occur at Chatfield Farms or Plains Conservation Center.

For more information about how you can apply to this program please reach out to vol@botanicgardens.org.


Applications for the 2022-2023 Gardens Teen Leaders Program are no longer being accepted. Please continue to check back for additional teen volunteer opportunities throughout the year.


Hear from past teen volunteers about their experience volunteering in previous summers in this video.

Sign up for our e-newsletters!