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.


We welcome you to send in inquiries and we will respond as opportunities arise. Please understand that we receive a high volume of volunteer inquiries, and process requests on an as-needed basis. It may take us some time to get back to you about your request. Thank you for your understanding.


Please read on below for more information about our opportunities and the benefits of volunteering. We request a 1-Year (Academic Year for students) commitment with the exception of the Ambassador Program.


To inquire about volunteering, complete the Volunteer Interest Form below.

Volunteer Interest Form

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Roving & Entrance Ambassadors
a tour guide showing trees to a family

The Garden is accepting applications for Roving & Entrance Ambassadors, however, dates for the next Ambassador trainings are not yet set.

Roving Ambassadors help with welcoming and orienting visitors throughout the Garden. Responsibilities include providing general information about the Garden and supporting plant and people safety throughout the Garden’s 34 acres. Rovers carry walkies to communicate with Entrance Ambassadors and staff as needed.

Entrance Ambassadors welcome visitors at the Garden entrance and help them make the most of their visit. Responsibilities include orienting visitors to the Garden map, providing general information about the Garden, and informing visitors of current programs and promotions.

Ambassador shifts are available seven days a week, with a preference for volunteers who are available on weekends and holidays. Shifts are 2 hours: 10am-12pm, 12pm-2pm, and 2pm-4pm.

Ambassadors are asked to commit to at least one full season and to volunteer for at least one shift per month.

Garden Shop

a volunteer showing visitors a plant The Garden is accepting applications for Shop Volunteers. 

Do you love our Garden Shop & Plant Deck? Are you a ‘people person’ who has time to volunteer during the week? If so, we need volunteers to provide excellent customer service in the Garden Shop and on the Plant Deck. Garden Shop volunteers stock and sell gift items, plants, and books.

Garden Shop shifts are available on weekdays only. Volunteers are typically scheduled for shifts every other week. Shifts are 3 hours: 10:30 am-1:30 pm or 1:30 pm-4:30 pm.

One year commitment. Background check and references required.

Horticulture Volunteers

The Garden accepts volunteer applications for Horticultural Volunteers on an as-needed basis. 

Horticulture Volunteers support the Garden’s collections with maintenance, such as weeding, raking, and mulching.two horticulture volunteers working on plants

Horticulture Volunteers are assigned to work in a particular collection with the Horticulturist for that area. This position requires the ability to work on a variety of terrain/slopes, in a variety of temperatures, to lift 20 lbs, and to bend, kneel, etc. Volunteer applicants should be able to follow directions from Horticulture staff while working independently.

Horticulture Volunteer shifts are available on weekdays only. Shifts are typically 3 hours: 9 am-1 pm or 1 pm-4 pm.

One year commitment.

Curation Volunteers

seeds beings packaged into a bag The Garden accepts volunteer applications for Curatorial Volunteers on an as-needed basis. 

Curatorial Volunteers support the Curatorial Department with data collection, data entry, seed cleaning, plant label engraving and mounting, and maintaining and cataloging the Myrtle Wolf Library.

Curatorial work requires attention to detail and may require some experience with plant identification. Volunteer applicants should be able to follow directions from Curatorial staff while working independently.

Curatorial Volunteer shifts are available on weekdays only. Shifts are typically 3 hours: 9 am-1 pm or 1 pm-4 pm.

One year commitment.

Volunteer Propagation

The Volunteer Propagation Program is not currently accepting new volunteers. If you would like to be considered for future openings, please fill out our interest form

three voulnteers sitting down pulling weeds out into pots

Volunteer Propagators cultivate and propagate plants for sale on our Plant Deck and at pop-up sales to further the Garden’s educational mission.Responsibilities include watering, pulling weeds in pots or in the ground in working areas, checking the Plant Deck for watering needs and restocking. Volunteer Propagators work under the direction and supervision of the Public Plant Program Coordinator as well as with other Volunteer Propagators. Successful applicants will be able to work well with others and enjoy working in a team environment

Applicants must be comfortable with 2-3 hours of physical work (standing, sitting, kneeling, and lifting up to 20lbs).

Propagation shifts are available Tuesday and Friday mornings only. Shifts are typically 3 hours: 9 am-12 pm.

One year commitment.

Docent (Next Training Session To Be Determined)

a man holding a orange flowerDates for our next Docent Training are not yet set. If you would like to be considered for future openings, please fill out our interest form

Do you remember your own first of discovery of the world of plants? The first time you saw tree rings and understood they represented years of growth? The first time you observed a bee gathering pollen or discovered the contents of a pitcher plant?

If you enjoy working with people of all ages and you have a love of plants and nature that you would like to share with others, consider becoming a UCBG Docent! Our docents create memorable, fun and exciting learning experiences for small groups of school children, university students, and the general public, year round.

The Garden’s next Docent Training Course has not yet been scheduled, and is usually a 6-month course, with a two-year commitment after successful completion of the training. Docents are asked to lead at least 20 tours a year or to provide an equal amount of service to the Education Program as approved by the Outreach Coordinator.

Special Events 

The Garden accepts volunteer applications for Special Events Volunteers on an as-needed basis. 

two volunteers helping out a child with garden activities Special Events volunteers assist at Garden programs, such as concerts, lectures, fundraising programs and events. Hours will vary, and many events are on weekends or after normal work hours.



Volunteer Benefits

an event volunteer smiling and holding two space signs up as her photo is taken Reduced Rate for UCBG Membership
Volunteers at the Garden are eligible for discounted membership rates and can enjoy all the benefits of Garden Membership.

In-House Newsletter
The UC Bee and the UC Bee Hive are published monthly with news, announcements, special events, and information from all corners of the Garden.

Volunteer Community 
As a Botanical Garden Volunteer, you are a part of our volunteer community. All volunteers are welcome to join field trips, clubs, special activities and programs, continuing education opportunities, and other social events throughout the year. The Garden also provides a yearly volunteer appreciation party and celebration each December.

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 and enter the Garden at no charge.