Become a Smithsonian Gardens Volunteer!

Volunteers 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.

VolunteersVolunteers 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

  • Help grow and maintain garden beds, with staff supervision
  • Inform and answer visitor questions about the plant collection
  • Work outside from April through October

We are not currently recruiting for Garden Maintenance Volunteers. If you are interested in an garden maintenance opportunity, we encourage you to contact us at gardenvolunteers@si.edu to find out when we are accepting applications for the next recruitment period.

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Garden Interpreters

  • Interact with Smithsonian Gardens' visitors of all ages
  • Encourage visitor exploration of plants, design, and horticulture
  • Utilize storytelling and interactive activities
  • Answer general questions about Smithsonian Gardens
  • Opportunity to assist with biennial Orchid Exhibit and provide interpretations of the exhibit

We are not currently recruiting for Garden Interpreters. If you are interested in an Interpreter opportunity, we encourage you to submit an application. Applications will be kept on file for 1 year or until the next recruitment.

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Greenhouse Volunteers

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

We are not currently recruiting for Greenhouse Volunteers. If you are interested in a Greenhouse opportunity, we encourage you to submit an application. Applications will be kept on file for 1 year or until the next recruitment.

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Benefits

  • 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.

Testimonials

“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