Become a Smithsonian Gardens Volunteer!

VolunteersVolunteers are essential to our mission of connecting people with plants. Each year our volunteers donate 3500 hours of their time to help in virtually every area of our Smithsonian Gardens.

Volunteers provide diverse expertise and experience to our programs, gardens, greenhouse and special events. In turn, volunteers work alongside expert staff and have many opportunities for learning and gaining experience.

Garden Maintenance Volunteers

Smithsonian Gardens is currently accepting applications for 2019 garden maintenance volunteers. Application deadline is January 31th and selected applicants should anticipate starting out in the gardens in April 2019.

Volunteers assist with

  • Helping to grow and maintain garden beds, with staff supervision
  • Inform and answer visitor questions about the plant collection
  • And will work outside from April through October

Learn More >

Greenhouse Volunteers

  • Propagation and care of greenhouse plants
  • Work with our extensive Orchid Collection
  • Assist with plant installations within the museum spaces

Learn More >

Community of Gardens Volunteer

  • Help collect and preserve stories about gardens and gardeners for the Community of Gardens digital archive
  • Research and reach out to gardeners and organizations around the United States
  • Write and edit stories and images

Learn More >


  • Opportunities to work with and learn from expert staff
  • Share your experiences with visitors
  • Meet a wide array of visitors from across the world
  • Enjoy a 20% discount at Smithsonian cafes and shops

Already a Volunteer?

Find resources and news on our volunteer blog.


“Working as a Smithsonian Garden Interpreter is very rewarding in that it not only offers opportunity to learn about garden design, what plants to select for best results, arts in the garden, but also it offers an unique opportunity to interact with visitors from all over the US and around the world.”

– Heidi, Garden Interpreter Volunteer

“I have enjoyed my experience at the greenhouse and I enjoy the people I work with. I love getting my hands on the plants that will later be seen by the public in the gardens and museums.”

– Laurel, Greenhouse Volunteer