Note: Openings for volunteers in propagation and horticulture are limited
What Do Volunteers Do?
Garden Ambassadors: Welcome visitors at Garden entrance and help people who come to the Garden make the most of their visit on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, 12-3 pm. Training for Garden Ambassadors will consist of two, 4-hour sessions on dates TBD.
Download the Ambassador Training Flyer
Docents: Lead tours for school children and adults, create and staff educational events, design and present programs in school classrooms. Training for docents will take place every Monday from August 26, 2013 - March 24, 2014 at 1- 4 p.m.
Download the Docent Training Flyer
Propagators: Propagate and grow plants sold at the Garden Shop and two annual plant sales.
Garden Shop: Buy, stock and sell gift items and books in the Garden Shop. Welcome visitors and share information about the Garden and plants.
Horticulture: Assist Horticultural staff with Garden maintenance, such as weeding, raking and mulching.
Special Events: Travel with us to local community festivals to introduce the public to and raise awareness about the Garden. Assist at Garden fund-raising programs and events.
Curation: Make plant labels, clean seeds, help collect and prepare specimens for research and herbarium, collect data on Garden plants.
Library: Maintain and catalog the Myrtle Wolf Library, the Garden's staff and volunteer reference library and archives.
Fall and Spring Plant Sales: Our big bi-annual plant sales are an important source of revenue for the Garden. All volunteers are asked to volunteer at the sales.
What are Volunteer Benefits?
Volunteers at the Garden are asked to become Garden members and so enjoy all the benefits of membership and more . Volunteers enjoy the esteem of association with a premier botanical garden and of working side by side with eminent plant experts and other plant aficionados.
The UC BEE is published monthly with news and announcements from all corners of the Garden. It is distributed to all volunteers, and all volunteers are encouraged to contribute to it.
Join the volunteer appreciation party and celebration each December. Lunch and refreshments are provided by the Garden and the event is hosted by Garden staff. Docents, propagators, horticulture, curation, library, Sick Plant Clinic and Garden Shop volunteers have their own annual social events. Special activities and programs for volunteers are offered throughout the year.
Lectures are scheduled about once a month throughout the academic year, specifically for volunteers and staff. These are planned well in advance to give all volunteers a chance to attend. Volunteer education programs are organized by the Garden Seminar Committee and are announced in the UC BEE. All volunteers are invited to attend. Myrtle Wolf Library: The Garden has a modest reference library, which is available for volunteers to use or help maintain through volunteer work. UC Library Privileges: UC Botanical Garden Volunteers can apply for a library card for the UC Libraries. There are some restrictions. See the Volunteer Coordinator for details.
The Herbarium: The Herbarium offers many classes and seminars at the member rate for UC Botanical Garden Volunteers. Watch for class schedule announcements.
Garden Volunteer Badge
When you've completed your training, or 30 hours of volunteer time, you'll receive an official Garden name badge.
Once you receive your badge and as long as you remain an active Garden volunteer, you are eligible for discounted Garden Shop purchases. The current discount is 20% for volunteer members.
How do I get started?
Email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 510-643-7265 for more information.
Reduced Rate for UCBG Membership
You'll be eligible for UC Affiliate rates for Individual or Family level memberships.
These are excerpts from the UC Botanical Garden Volunteer Handbook. Additional details available when you sign up as a volunteer.