Volunteering for DC-Area Gardens
The National Arboretum’s volunteer program is popular. Learn about it here.
Volunteers for the National Capital Area Garden Clubs staff the Arbor House Gift Shop at the National Arboretum.
The Smithsonian Gardens offers a wealth of opportunities for volunteers to use their skills. Learn more here.
The Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral needs volunteers as gardeners and docents. Here’s their volunteer sign-up.
The U.S. Botanic Gardens volunteer program is described here.
Hillwood Museum and Gardens’ popular volunteer program is under the guidance of horticulturist volunteer coordinator Drew Asbury. Click here to learn about.
Montgomery County, MD’s Brookside Gardens offer a variety of volunteer opportunities – here’s the info.
In College Park, MD volunteers can work and learn at the University of Maryland Arboretum. Learn more here.
Green Springs Garden in Fairfax County, VA has a flourishing volunteer program. Learn about it here.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA offers more great volunteer opportunities for locals. Click here to learn more.
In Alexandria, VA, River Farm (headquarters of the American Horticultural Society) is another great place to volunteer. Click here to learn more.
Master Gardener Volunteer Projects
Arlington/Alexandria Master Gardeners. Newly certified Master Gardeners assist staff in teaching environmentally sound gardening techniques in their communities through plant clinics, a horticultural help desk, demonstration gardens and other outreach projects. To see the five demonstration gardens developed and managed by these Master Gardeners, click here. (To learn more about Arlington/Alexandria Master Gardeners, scroll down on this page.)
Fairfax County Master Gardeners’ projects include: plant clinics, a Horticultural Help Desk, a Diagnostic lab, and a gardening and environment program for 4-H kids.
Prince George’s Master Gardeners provide training/workshops/talks at the libraries, Watkins Nature Center, Prince George’s Community College, government agencies and community groups, plus youth groups and schools. They don’t do maintenance work, but will show clients how and when to do it. They help schools put in a garden and get them started. Coordinator Esther Mitchell says that her motto is if you are not having fun, then you are in the wrong program. In addition to their many demonstration gardens, the PG Master Gardeners are involved with these great teaching gardens:
- Sheridan Street Community Garden. Located at the newly remodeled Center for Educational Partnership next to William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, the garden has space for families to have their own plots to grow healthy food, as well as a youth garden where students from the neighborhood can learn how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. They also host trainings for Master Gardeners and the general public, and are holding an an event called Growing Community Gardens on March 24. If you would like to get involved, contact Christie Balch at 301/779-2806, ext 706 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s their Facebook page.
- Riverdale Mansion – The gardens and adjacent orchard feature many flowers and herbs, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables representative of the crops needed to support the large family, workers, and livestock living at Riverdale in the early 19th century. If you would like to get involved please email Sarah Urdaneta at email@example.com.
See their Events Calendar to learn about the many, many talks and demos they’ll be providing in local libraries in March and April. Teaching goes outdoors during the growing season. Here they are on Facebook.
Montgomery County Master Gardeners offer free services that the public may take advantage of, including telephone consultation, ask us a question via email, plant clinics, landscape design for government and non-profit organizations, therapeutic horticulture, demonstration gardens, and a speakers bureau. Contact MG Coordinator Steve Dubik at (301) 590-2838 or email him: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Ways to Volunteer : Planting Trees
Casey Trees has very popular volunteer opportunities in tree planting, tree advocacy, Citizen Forester, Citizen Scientist, and tree care.
More Ways to Volunteer: Conservation Organizations
- The Anacostia Watershed Society’s volunteer opportunities include river and community clean-ups, removal of invasive plants, restoration of meadows and native plants.
- Montgomery County Weed Warriors
- Earth Sangha, propagates local, native plants for ecological restoration.
- Falls Church Habitat Restoration Team.
- Arlington County’s Remove Invasive Plants (RiP) program
- Reston Association’s Habitat Heroes.
- Fairfax County’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) Program.
- Project BudBurst
- Meadowview Biological Research Station in Woodford. Their mission is preserving and restoring rare wetland plants, habitats and associated ecosystems on the coastal plain of Maryland and Virginia.
- Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy needs volunteers to help amphibians cross the road during the migration season. You can also help by monitoring them on your own property or in public spaces.
- Be a Wildlife Mapper. Help perform field studies that contribute to the state’s biological databases.
More Ways to Volunteer : National Park Service Memorials
Volunteers act as docents and guides in most of the memorials and monuments on and near the National Mall. For example, they’re often asked to help locate and make rubbings of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s wall. Find info about volunteering from the Trust for the National Mall or the National Park Service.
Others? Send us your suggestions. Contact@dcgardens.com.