Volunteer Todd Brethauer shares a voodoo lily with a visitorVolunteers are a crucial part of the U.S. Botanic Garden community. Through their time at the Garden, 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. Have you ever wondered how you could be part of the experience?

If yes, please explore below to get important information about the application and onboarding process.

Current volunteer login


Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions



Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the U.S. Botanic Garden! Our onboarding process is currently paused. If you're interested in receiving an email when we resume accepting volunteer applications, please contact Mark.Oberly@aoc.gov to put your name on the list.



Step 1: Do you prefer to work with people or plants?

Are you most interested in working with people (public engagement) or working with plants (hands-on gardening)? If you're not sure, you can click the links below to see more detailed descriptions.

Step 2: Submit an application

We'll use the information from your application to direct you to the best activity and give you information about when the next onboarding cycle will begin. Our onboarding process is currently paused. We plan to resume accepting and reviewing applications in February 2024. Please check back for additional information at that time.

Step 3: Try it out

All new volunteers complete a trial shift for their preferred activity (or activities). Trial shifts give you a chance to explore the activity and meet some USBG team members. You're welcome to complete trial shifts for as many activities as you want, but you will need to select one activity to move forward with.

We try to find a match for all applicants, but volunteer positions are not guaranteed. Availability is impacted by our collections, staffing, and organizational capacity.

When we find an activity that is a match for both you and the Garden, you'll move on to orientation and training.

Step 4: Orientation, training, and badging

You can complete volunteer orientation online at your convenience through your volunteer profile on MyImpact, our volunteer management system. Depending on the activity, there may be additional training or shadowing required before you begin volunteering. 

All volunteers must complete fingerprinting and a background check. After successful completion of the background check, you will be issued an ID badge. We begin this process after you complete your orientation. 

Step 5: Begin volunteering!

Have more questions? Check out the Volunteer Program Frequently Asked Questions. You may contact Elizabeth Barton, USBG Volunteer Coordinator, with any questions by email (Elizabeth.Barton@aoc.gov).