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. Volunteers are professionals, hobbyists, retirees or employed full-time. Volunteers must be 18 years of age.
Q: What kinds of volunteer opportunities does the U.S. Botanic Garden have?
Volunteers assist with plant care, facilitate public programs, provide visitor services, and more! Some examples of potential opportunities are listed below. Please note that our needs change over time, so we may or may not be recruiting for these opportunities when you apply.
Q: Do I need a horticultural background?
For some horticulture volunteering opportunities a basic horticultural background is requested. However, in many other areas, both in horticulture and public programs, previous horticulture experience is not required. We are most interested in your enthusiasm, flexibility, and willingness to learn.
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 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 prospective volunteers.
Q: What is the volunteer commitment and what is available on the weekends?
Volunteer opportunities 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 training provided. Weekend shifts will be specifically noted under the time commitment heading on all volunteer opportunity descriptions. Please note that our needs change over time, so we may or may not be recruiting for these opportunities when you apply.
Q: How does volunteer scheduling work at the U.S. Botanic Garden?
Each volunteer opportunity includes a description of available shift days, times, and volunteer commitment. Once onboarded, volunteers may schedule themselves for available shifts within those times.
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.
Q: Can I volunteer at the U.S. Botanic Garden to get hours towards a service requirement?
Yes! If you are eligible for our volunteer program, we can provide a record of your hours as a report out for a service requirement.
If you are under 18 and interested in fulfilling a service requirement, please check out Educational Internship Opportunities at the U.S. Botanic Garden.
Q: How is the U.S. Botanic Garden addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and volunteer safety?
Each day before arriving onsite, all volunteers complete a self-health check confirming that they have not tested positive for COVID-19 and are not experiencing symptoms.
Mask wearing is optional across the Capitol campus, including at the Garden. We encourage you to still wear a mask when you must be in close proximity to your colleagues, will be with another person in an office or workspace for a prolonged period, or whenever you feel the need to do so. Please also respect the decisions of others in regard to mask wearing.
Q: Are there remote volunteer opportunities at the U.S. Botanic Garden?
No, all available volunteer opportunities are located at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory (100 Maryland Ave SW) or Production Facility (4700 Shepherd Parkway SW).