Where to Volunteer

Volunteering for DC-Area Gardens

Hillwood volunteers.

Hillwood volunteers.

In DC:

The Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral welcomes volunteers, who can sign up here.

Arboretum volunteers

Arboretum volunteers

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 Washington Youth Garden is a wonderful place to volunteer – in several capacities, all described here.

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.

Tregaron Conservancy (located in Cleveland/Woodley Park) is happy to have skilled volunteers work in their gardens any time. Sign up here or message them at Facebook.

In Maryland:
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.

In Virginia:

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.

Volunteers at River Farm

Volunteers at River Farm

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.)

Green Spring Master Gardeners. Information about Green Spring Master Gardener projects coming soon.  (To learn more about Green Springs 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 cbalch@umd.edu. 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 sycamoreaz@yahoo.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 consultationask us a question via email, plant clinicslandscape design for government and non-profit organizations, therapeutic horticulturedemonstration gardens, and a speakers bureau.  Contact MG Coordinator Steve Dubik at (301) 590-2838 or email him: sdubik@umd.edu.

More Ways to Volunteer : Planting Trees


Casey Trees on the job.

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


Anacostia Watershed Society activities

More Ways to Volunteer : National Park Service Memorials

FDR Memorial (L) and Park Service Volunteer at Vietnam Veterans Memorial (R)

FDR Memorial (L) and Park Service Volunteer at Vietnam Veterans Memorial (R)

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.

Vietnam Memorial photo credit.

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