Current Volunteers: Please click here to go to the Volunteer Information Center and enter your volunteer hours.

Become a Volunteer

Are you interested in plants and people? The Botanical Garden offers a variety of volunteer opportunities in the areas of educational programming, conservation, propagation, garden maintenance, and more. You can have a fulfilling experience while helping to further the Garden's mission of conservation and education for a diverse audience.

Beyond the obvious benefits of serving your community and nature, volunteers receive the following: the offer of a discounted membership ($25), which in turn brings you free seeds each spring and 10% discounts class registration fees and in the Garden Shop—plus the fun of working with and meeting people with similar interests.

If you would like to volunteer, please read the descriptions of volunteer opportunities below, and then fill out our Application Form. You will be contacted by the Volunteer Coordinator. If you have any questions, please email the Volunteer Coordinator [volunteerncbg 'at' unc.edu], or you may call 919-962-0522.

Volunteers give tours of the Garden to school groups and others.

Some of our volunteer opportunities are described below. You may also download a more detailed list [PDF] of current volunteer opportunities.

Education

Conservation and Natural Areas

Horticulture

Administrative and Other Garden Support

Maintenance

Tour Guides

The Botanical Garden Tour Guides lead informative tours through the gardens and Education Center for the general public and school groups.
Time: Training sessions are held on Tuesdays, 9:30 - 11:30 am, for 25 weeks during spring and fall months. Tours are scheduled as needed, through the Education Department.
Qualifications: Ability to lead tours and interact with the public. Botanical and/or environmental knowledge is helpful.
Physical Requirements: Must be able to stand and walk through some uneven terrain for 1 to 1½ hours.

Children/Family Programs

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Assist with programs and special events for young children and families.
Time: Days vary depending on program; usually 2 - 3 hours per program.
Qualifications: Ability to interact with young children. Previous teaching or experience with children preferred.
Training: Provided prior to specific program.
Physical Requirements: Ability to kneel, sit on floor, walk trails/gardens for up to 1 hour.

Nature Explorers Camp

Volunteers assist and contribute to the weekly planning and implementation of summer camp activities.
Time: Summer weekdays (weeks vary), 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
Qualifications: Interest in environmental education and experience with children helpful. A great experience for students and junior volunteers!
Training: Provided prior to specific program.
Physical Requirements: Ability to kneel, sit on the floor, walk trails/gardens for up to hours at a time.

Horticultural Therapy Volunteers

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Volunteers assist individuals of varying ages and abilities in therapeutic horticultural activities. Client groups include persons with traumatic brain injury, mental illness, memory impairment, and physical disabilities.
Time: Time and place vary.
Qualifications: Interest and experience working in a horticultural setting with persons with disabilities. Ability to interact with individuals of all ages and varying abilities.
Training: 4-week orientation and periodic training sessions.
Physical Requirements: Will depend on type of opportunity offered; accommodations can be made to meet needs of volunteer.

Education Department Office Assistance

Assist with various departmental office special projects including facility use, program registrations, data entry.
Time: Flexible.
Qualifications: Basic organizational skills; computer and data base management skills preferred; knowledge of office equipment.
Training: On the job.
Physical requirements: Ability to stand, sit, and use office equipment.

Exhibits

Assist with art and educational exhibits, to include hanging and removing artwork, maintenance of exhibits and sales lists, promotion.
Time: Varies.
Qualifications: Excellent organizational and communication skills, ability to work with artists/educators; prior experience with galleries/exhibits helpful.
Training: On the job.
Physical Requirements: Must be able to lift heavy objects and climb ladders.

Carolina Campus Community Garden

This garden located on the UNC Campus offers produce and gardening skills, workshops to low-wage workers of the UNC community. Duties include planting, weeding, watering, staking, mulching, harvesting and distribution of produce.
Time: Wednesdays 4 - 6 pm and Sundays 3 - 5 pm, year round.
Qualifications: Ability to work outside as part of a group; interest in gardening and vegetable gardening.
Training: On the job.
Physical Requirements: Must be able to use garden tools, bend, kneel, and work outdoors in warm/cold weather.

Coker Arboretum Volunteers (UNC Campus)

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Assist with seasonal tasks such as weeding, cutting back perennials, mulching, debris removal, and trimming at this five-acre arboretum on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. There are no openings for new volunteers at this time.
Time: Tuesdays, 2 hours in morning or afternoon, depending on seasonal weather factors.
Qualifications: Ability to work outdoors, as part of a group, in variable weather; interest and experience in horticulture preferred but not required.
Physical Requirements: Outdoor gardening. Must be able to use garden implements, bend, kneel and be outside in summer heat for 2-hour periods of time.

Battle Park Volunteers

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Assist in achieving overall management goals for this natural area, through ecological restoration projects and trail maintenance. Specific duties include eradication of invasive exotic plant populations, native plant reintroductions, habitat surveys, trail construction, and maintenance of Forest Theatre.
Time: Thursdays, 9 am - 12 noon, and designated Saturdays at 10:00 am during the academic year. Meet in the gravel parking lot at Forest Theatre.
Qualifications: Ability to work outdoors as part of a group; ability to work with garden tools; some plant knowledge is helpful though not required.
Training: on the job
Physical requirements: Ability to work outdoors in varying weather conditions and on varying terrain; ability to walk distances, bend, kneel.

Piedmont Nature Trails Volunteers

Assist in achieving overall management goals through ecological restoration projects and trail maintenance. Specific duties include eradication of invasive exotic plant populations, native plant reintroduction, habitat surveys, and trail construction.
Time: Seasonal and time varies.
Qualifications: Ability to work outdoors as part of a group and to work with garden tools.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to work outdoors and on varying terrain, and to bend, kneel, walk.

Green Dragons

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Work with staff in Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Coker Pinetum, and other natural areas. Assist with the management of these natural areas and other conservation department activities, including eradicating invasive plants, maintaining trails, monitoring rare plants and vegetation, and working with the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), of which the Garden is a charter member.
Time: Spring, Summer, Fall—Tuesdays, 9 am - 12 noon & Wednesdays, 9 - 11 am.
Qualifications: Ability to work outside on varying terrain under a variety of conditions and to use garden tools.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to work outdoors in varying weather conditions, and to walk, kneel, bend.

"Wild Blues" Volunteers (Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham)

Volunteers work at Penny's Bend Nature Preserve in Durham, maintaining interpretive/hiking trails, controlling invasive exotic plant species, sampling macro-invertebrate fauna in the river, and monitoring rare plant species.
Time: Weekends
Qualifications: Ability to work outdoors and on varying terrain, and to use garden tools.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to walk, kneel, bend, and work outdoors under varying weather and terrain conditions.

Habitat Gardens Volunteers

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Volunteers help maintain the native plant collections located in the Coastal Plain, Mountain Habitat, and Piedmont Habitat gardens. Duties include weeding, raking, pruning, and occasional planting.
Time: Mondays, 1 - 3 pm or Wednesdays 9 - 11 am. Also on Thursdays 9 - 11 am for a subgroup known as "The Editors" (weed editors).
Qualifications: Ability to work outdoors as part of a group, using garden tools; an interest in native plants is helpful but not required.
Training: On the job.
Physical Requirements: Outdoor gardening: Must be able to bend, kneel, occasionally lift heavy items, and be outside for 2-hour period of time in varying weather, including summer heat.

The Editors

This group is charged with maintaining all the new gardens associated with our new Education Center. If offers good exercise and training in plant identification. Lots of weeding ("editing"!)
Time: Thursday mornings, time dependent on weather.
Qualifications: Ability to work outdoors as part of a group, using garden tools; an interest in native plants is helpful but not required.
Training: On the job.
Physical Requirements: Outdoor gardening: Must be able to bend, kneel, occasionally lift heavy items, and be outside for 2-hour period of time in varying weather, including summer heat.

Herb Garden Volunteers

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Volunteers help with general maintenance and upkeep of the Mercer Reeves Hubbard Herb Garden. Duties include raking, weeding, transplanting, pruning, and mulching.
Time: Tuesdays, 9 - 11 am, early spring through late fall.
Qualifications: Ability to work outside as part of a group. An interest in herbs and some gardening skills are helpful but not required.
Physical Requirements: Outdoor gardening; must be able to use garden implements, bend, kneel, and be outside for 2-hour period of time in heat.

Green Gardener Volunteers

The Green Gardeners are special volunteers who offer help and advice to visitors, callers, and e-mailers. A 5-week training series for new Green Gardeners provides an overview of the NCBG philosophy and mission, as well as education on sustainable gardening practices in North Carolina. At completion of the training, trainees take a competency test to begin work as a Green Gardener. Training programs will be announced here.
Time: 2-hour shifts, 12 - 2 pm, Monday - Friday.
Qualifications: Garden Club or Master Gardener experience helpful. Computer skills (ability to use Internet) are required, as are the ability to interact with individuals of all ages. Knowledge of native plants of the Southeast very helpful.
Training: 5-week training program to be given periodically by NCBG staff.
Physical Requirements: Ability to sit and use computers and other reference materials.

Nursery & Greenhouse Volunteers

Assist with general maintenance of the Botanical Garden's nursery facilities: involves weeding, pruning, fertilizing, pest control, potting, general clean up and propagation.
Time: Flexible, but at least 2 hours per week required.
Qualifications: Ability to work outside as part of a group. Experience in nursery-related work is helpful.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to tolerate summer heat, occasional lifting of heavy items, and kneeling for extended periods of time.

Plant Propagation Volunteers

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Potting of plants for nursery and plant sales.
Time: Wednesdays, 9 - 11 am, late February through early June and early September through mid-November.
Qualifications: Ability to do detailed work and an interest in plants; ability to work as part of a group. Nursery related work experience helpful but not necessary.
Training: On the job.
Physical Requirements: Ability to sit or stand at a potting bench for a period of time; some bending too.

Seed Processing Volunteers

Involves cleaning and sorting seeds for the Garden's propagation program, N.C. Wildflower of the Year Program, etc.
Time: Wednesdays 9 - 11 am, late summer through fall
Qualifications: No prior experience needed; ability to work with small items, sit for 2-hour periods, and work as part of a group.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to work with small items and sit for 2-hour periods of time.

Herbarium Volunteers (UNC Campus)

Volunteers assist the curator with sewing and gluing of specimens on herbarium sheets, filing specimens into the collection, and entering information into databases. The Herbarium is located on the UNC campus in Coker Hall.
Time: Weekdays, 9 am - 4 pm (flexible shifts).
Qualifications: Appreciation for precise work; interest in plants; filing.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Sitting, work with small items, ability to bend to file.

Library Volunteers

Assist with shelving books, checking in periodicals, labeling, typing, filing. At this time we are unable to accommodate additional Library volunteers.
Time: Wednesdays, 9 am - noon
Qualifications: Ability to work with a group of people, typing, knowledge of office equipment. Library experience helpful.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to sit, stand, bend, lift books.

Reception Ambassador**

Greeting and directing the public, answering phone, providing general orientation information about the Garden.
Time: Flexible weekdays; weekends 9 am - 1 pm or 1 - 5 pm.
Qualifications: Must enjoy people, be capable of handling cash, check, and credit card sales, and be able to multi-task. Previous reception work helpful.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to sit for 4-hour shifts.

Garden Shop Volunteers**

Assist visitors with sales; inventory and restocking.
Time: Flexible 2- to 3-hour shifts on Monday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm, Saturday 9 am - 5 pm, or Sunday 1 - 5 pm.
Qualifications: Ability to deal professionally with the public. Experience in sales a plus.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to sit for shift, take merchandise from shelves.

Publicity Volunteers

Assist staff in promoting the Garden's educational and outreach programs.
Time: Flexible Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm.
Qualifications: Ability/ease with basic office software, email, and web applications; familiarity and experience with publicity/PR a plus; graphic design and photography skills a plus. Must have own transportation. Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to sit, walk over uneven terrain.

Maintenance Volunteers**

Assist with maintenance and repair jobs, including garden tool repair and sharpening, garden cart repair, outdoor furniture cleaning and finishing, painting, small motor maintenance and repair.
Time: Flexible weekdays
Qualifications: Basic carpentry skills and small motor maintenance and repair skills required; experience working with tools, furniture repair.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Ability to lift heavy objects, stand, kneel, and use garden and maintenance tools.

Vegetable Garden Volunteers**

Assist with planting and maintenance of demonstration vegetable garden.
Time: Flexible, 2 hours per week
Qualifications: Nursery or vegetable-gardening experience helpful. Interest in vegetable gardening and ability to work outside independently or as part of a group.
Training: On the job
Physical Requirements: Outdoor gardening; must be able to use garden tools, bend, kneel, and be outside for 2-hour time periods in fluctuating weather conditions.

** = New volunteers needed now!

Updated on March 10, 2014 at 03:34:14 pm.


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