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


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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

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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

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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