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Volunteers are an integral part of how the botanic garden operates. And a cherished part of our community. The botanic garden is not accepting new volunteers at this time. Please check back in the future for new opportunities, or sign-up for our newsletter, Digitalis for announcements.

Volunteers play a vital role in extending the reach of what the botanic garden is able to offer. Volunteers lead tours through the greenhouses and gardens, staff our reception area and exhibition gallery, and provide hospitality for events such as the opening of the Spring Bulb Show.

Volunteer training sessions are held once a year in January, followed by training tours and monthly meetings. Training includes a history of the botanic garden; tours of the conservatory; basic botany and horticulture; commercial, medicinal and food plants of Lyman Plant House; and how to guide visitors and school groups. Volunteers are asked to participate for one full year, including attending the monthly meetings. Please note that volunteers do not engage in any hands-on horticultural work. 

Volunteers support our work in two primary ways: 

  • Educational Tour Guides: The botanic garden provides guided educational tours to K-12 students, college students and adults. Volunteers choose which tours they want to lead and sign-up according to their schedule.

  • Front Desk Reception and Audiences Engagement: Front desk shifts take place on Saturday and Sundays, and during our mum show and bulb show. Shifts are held from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm.

Volunteers are required to be certified in Minors Safety and have a CORI check.

Please note: In order to be as equitable as possible, the botanic garden does not allow Smith students to volunteer. Instead, we encourage students to look for paid opportunities with us through Workday or to explore working with us for academic credit.