You are invited to join the Arboretum Volunteer Team! Give your time, gain new skills, and make new friends.
Although gardening experience or plant knowledge is a plus, absolutely none is required for the majority of volunteer positions. Benefits of volunteering at the Arboretum include the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and receive hands-on experience through association with professionals in research, horticulture and education. Our volunteers have a range of horticultural experience, from weekend gardeners to specialists.
Volunteers are one of the great strengths of our organization, serving as an invaluable resource in making our programs possible. Volunteers provide the garden with vital support by guiding visitors through the grounds, staffing special events, maintaining the gardens, working in the Visitor Services Office, Garden & Gift Shop and Arboretum Library as well as behind the scenes through a host of other activities. They share their time, their love for gardening and plants, and their dedication to the community. Whether you are a master gardener, a professional or a homemaker, retired or work full-time, a teacher or a student, the Arboretum needs your time, skills and talents.
Through your volunteer activities you will meet others who have similar interests and hobbies, and experience the satisfaction of sharing in significant accomplishments. So, join us, and enjoy the beauty of the Arboretum and the rewards and camaraderie of being a part of our team of dedicated volunteers. We look forward to welcoming you to our volunteer program.
Please note: Although volunteer applications are accepted on a year-round basis, we cannot guarantee that we will need volunteers in the specific area in which you are most interested. Volunteer assignments are available on both weekdays and weekends, though the types and numbers of openings vary considerably throughout the year.
Los Voluntarios (Los Vols), the adult volunteer support organization for the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, is a self-organized group of almost 300 women and men who annually contribute over 30,000 hours of service to this flagship public garden, administered by the County Department of Parks & Recreation.
Membership is open to adults and requires a minimum of 50 hours of service annually. Depending upon availability, volunteer assignments may include administrative and customer
services, educational programming, gardening, gift shop, library, school tour docents, historic preservation, floral arrangements, Santa Anita Depot docents, walking tour docents, membership services and special events. Volunteer activities also include interesting and informative meetings, presentations, annual volunteer luncheon and picnic. Members of Los Voluntarios receive a volunteer-focused newsletter and complimentary Family Membership to the Arboretum.
Participation in the volunteer orientation program is required.
Five morning sessions of New Volunteer Orientation “Meet the Arboretum” is presented by Los Voluntarios. The Orientation Program is scheduled for five Tuesday mornings, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, February 5, 12, 19, 26 and March 5. Attendance is required at all five sessions. The orientation includes an overview and history of the Arboretum as well as information about the various volunteer opportunities. Additional training sessions are required for school and walking tour docents. Prospective volunteers may participate in the volunteer program prior to their participation in an Orientation Program, after a live-scan clearance.
Arboretum School Docent Opportunity!
Put on your walking shoes! Share the beauty and wonder of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden with school children, grades 3 – 6, from the greater Los Angeles area by becoming an Arboretum School Docent!.
Each Docent leads a small group of children two or three mornings a month on a two hour tour, generally from October to mid-June. There are two types of tours offered Tuesday through Friday mornings, one focusing on the dynamic plant collections and the other on our rich local history. Docents are energetic, enthusiastic and enjoy working with children. A background in botany or history is not required—just a willingness to learn. Eight 3 ½ hour-long orientation and training sessions specifically for School Docents are scheduled, to be held once a week from late October through early December. Docents will also be required to attend additional training through “Meet the Arboretum” Orientation, five morning programs scheduled in Spring 2019.
School groups taking the plant tours visit the greenhouses and various gardens, including the desert, prehistoric, native, Madagascar and Australian areas. Students, often suffering from “nature deficit disorder,” are enthralled by the peacocks, migratory water birds, and the Arboretum’s ever-changing landscape.
For details or an application, contact Volunteer Manager Nancy Carlton at 626.821.3210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Event Volunteers – Adults & Students
If you cannot contribute time on a regular basis, consider volunteering for events. Add your name to our special event volunteer contact list and receive detailed information when special events or projects become available.
High school students (minimum age of 14) can participate in the year-round Student Volunteer Program to fulfill community service hours requirements for school or for personal enjoyment and experience. Student volunteers are needed in a variety of areas on an on-going basis, including the Membership and Visitor Services Office, Gift Shop, administrative offices, gardens and greenhouses as well as for one-time only special events.
Los Voluntarios and Volunteer Orientation is not open to students.
Undergraduate and graduate college students are welcome to apply for unpaid internships. Arboretum staff will work with accredited academic institutions to serve as a site for their intern program. Students can develop a personalized internship by letting us know of their educational and occupational interests, a time-frame for serving as an intern, and specific internship goals. Timing of an internship is flexible and dependent upon your project. Unfortunately, the Arboretum does not offer any paid internships at this time.
Organizations (i.e. corporate, school groups, Scouts, etc.) are invited to arrange for
group volunteer projects. Please note: LA County mandates a minimum age of 14 for all volunteers, no exceptions.
Court Release Community Service Volunteers
The Arboretum no longer participates in the Court Release Community Service program. Inquiries should be directed to the Tree Farm at 626.593.3036.
For more information about these opportunities, please contact Nancy Carlton, volunteer manager 626.821-3210 or
nancy.carlton at arboretum.org