The Garden has a thriving volunteer community. Our volunteers are essential to educating the public, maintaining the collection, growing plants for sale, aiding in research, staffing the Garden Shop, and helping with special events. The UC Botanical Garden welcomes volunteers in most departments. Please read on for more information about our opportunities and the benefits of volunteering.
Garden Ambassadors: Welcome visitors at Garden entrance and help them make the most of their visit on Thursdays – Sundays and the First Free Wednesday. Weekday shifts are 11 am – 1 pm and 1 – 3 pm. Weekend shifts are 11 am – 1:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 4 pm. Training for Garden Ambassadors occurs on a rolling basis.
Docents: Lead tours for school children and adults, create and staff educational events, design and present programs in school classrooms. Training spans 6-7 months and occurs every other year with the next session beginning in the fall of 2016.
Propagators*: Propagate and grow plants sold at the Garden Shop and plant sales. Meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 am – 4 pm.
Garden Shop: Stock and sell gift items and books in the Garden Shop. Welcome visitors and share information about the Garden and plants. Work a morning or afternoon shift every other week. Must be 18 years old.
Horticulture*: Assist Horticultural staff with Garden maintenance, such as weeding, raking and mulching. Schedule depends on assigned area.
Special Events: Travel with us to local community festivals to introduce the public to and raise awareness about the Garden. Assist at Garden fundraising programs and events.
Curation: Make plant labels, clean seeds, help collect and prepare specimens for research and herbarium, collect data on Garden plants. Flexible weekday schedule between 9 am – 4 pm.
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.
Volunteer Requirements: We ask that volunteers have the ability to work at least once a week for a minimum of 3 hours between 9 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday (except Garden Shop, Ambassador, and Special Events positions, which include weekends). We request a 1 year commitment due to the training involved, although there may be exceptions. We ask all volunteers to become Garden members and to renew your membership each year. Volunteers are eligible to purchase memberships at the UC affiliate rate.
*Note: Openings for volunteers in propagation and horticulture are limited.
Reduced Rate for UCBG Membership
Volunteers at the Garden are asked to become Garden members at the reduced UC Affiliate rate and so enjoy all the benefits of membership and more. You will be eligible for UC Affiliate Membership rates for Individual or Family level memberships.
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. Volunteer groups also have their own annual social events and clubs. 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. Volunteer education programs are organized by a committee of volunteers and staff, and are announced in the UC Bee.
Myrtle Wolf Library
The Garden has a modest reference library, which is available for volunteers to use.
UC Library Privileges
UC Botanical Garden Volunteers can apply for a library card for the UC Libraries.
The Jepson Herbarium
The Herbarium offers many classes and seminars at the member rate for UC Botanical Garden Volunteers.
Garden Volunteer Badge
When you have completed your training, or 30 hours of volunteer time, you will receive an official Garden name badge. This will allow you to ride the UC Berkeley shuttles for free.
Garden Shop Discounts
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.
Become a Volunteer Today!