USBG Volunteer Program Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome! If you are wondering about the volunteer program at the U.S. Botanic Garden, read on for answers to some of our frequently asked questions from prospective volunteers.

Q: Who are U.S. Botanic Garden volunteers?

U.S. Botanic Garden volunteers have a common sense of purpose in identifying with the Garden's mission of demonstrating the aesthetic, cultural, ecological, economic and therapeutic importance of plants to humankind. Plants are not optional!

Volunteers are professionals, hobbyists, retirees or employed full-time. Volunteers must be 18 years of age.

Q: Do I need a horticultural background?

Not always. If you would like to volunteer with the Horticulture Division, a Master Gardener certificate, a degree in horticulture or a current/past position in horticulture is required. But in other areas, such as public programs, your enthusiasm, interest in serving the public, strong communication skills, willingness to learn and flexibility is all that is needed. There are opportunities for volunteers without specific experience to be trained by U.S. Botanic Garden staff and to shadow other fellow volunteers.

Q: Are all volunteer applicants accepted?

While the Volunteer Coordinator endeavors to place each applicant, it is not always possible to find an assignment that is an appropriate fit for the both the applicant and the Garden.

Please note that acceptance to the U.S. Botanic Garden Volunteer Program is contingent upon a background check and fingerprinting required for all prospecive volunteers.

Q: What is the volunteer commitment and what is available on the weekends?

Volunteer positions vary in terms of time commitment, depending on the assignment and the needs of the Garden. Please see specific volunteer activity descriptions for time commitments, primary responsibilities, qualifications for consideration and required training. Weekend shifts will be specifically noted under the time commitment heading on all volunteer activity descriptions.

Q: What are the benefits of volunteering?

Volunteers develop new skills, explore their personal interests and make significant contributions that enable the Garden to fulfill its mission. Volunteering is a great way to meet others and connect with the community.

Getting Started

If you are interested in volunteering, please see our current recruitment opportunities and corresponding volunteer activity descriptions. Once the application is received, you will be contacted for an onsite meeting.

Contact

Maura Nelson, Volunteer Coordinator
United States Botanic Garden
245 Maryland Avenue
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 226-1047