Arboretum Volunteers

We Love Our Volunteers

  • Spiegel Garden Snyder Building

We Couldn't Do It Without You!

At the MN Landscape Arboretum, volunteers outnumber staff 5 to 1. Our 1,200 + acres are lovingly maintained by outdoor enthusiasts, expert societies, and those eager to learn something new. We offer many volunteer opportunities throughout the year, not just gardening! Whatever your interests, we have something for you. 

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

  • Education - This is the area in which we need the most dedicated, excited, and passionate volunteers to assist with our children's programming. Former teachers are encouraged to apply and additional training will be offered for each program. Every year, over 40,000 students from schools around the Metro come to learn more about the natural world and have authentic, hands-on experiences.
  • File Arboretum Ambassador Program - The Arboretum is quite large and can be overwhelming for new visitors. Our Ambassadors wear green vests, carry a radio, and are armed with maps, leaflets, and the knowledge they gain in our training program. If guests are lost, are wondering what there is to do, or just need guidance on how to get from one garden to the next, Ambassadors are there to help.
  • File Arboretum Guides Program - Arboretum Guides go through rigorous training every year to lead tours through our gardens. Some are Master Gardeners, but all have a passion for nature and teaching.
  • Art Department Helpers - Wendy DePaolis, our Art Curator, does an excellent job of preparing her volunteers to hang art shows, clean sculptures, act as docents for incoming exhibits, and to assist with Adult Art Education. Often, volunteers on Wendy's team get an opportunity to meet the artists that show their work at the Arboretum
  • Children's Garden -  Located just outside the Learning Center, our Children's Garden and Greenhouse offer hands-on learning for the nearly 40,000 children served on our campus each year. When the children are not using the garden, we need help maintaining it. In the fall, that means a great harvest!
  • Clerical - As with most non-profits, we sell memberships and host events that help with our fundraising. Each year, several times a year, we send out large quantities of mail. This is perfect for anyone who prefers the indoors.
  • Conservation Research Assistants - Are you passionate about wild, native plants? Volunteer with the Plant Conservation Program where we maintain a long-term seedbank for imperiled plants of the upper Midwest, study the biology of Minnesota's terrestrial orchids, and conduct field studies in many amazing places throughout the region, including right here at the Arboretum. We need help cleaning seed collections, conducting germination and propagation research, potting up seedlings, and collecting data in the field.
  • Development - Do you love numbers and spreadsheets? Or maybe you have beautiful penmanship and like to write thank-you notices. Whatever you enjoy, our Development team would like to get to know you.
  • Event Helpers - Our two largest summer events are the annual Gala in the Gardens and Taste and Toast. The rest of the year, we host 5K walks, holiday markets, art fairs, and more. For every event, we ask for help with registration, greeters, and behind the scenes preparation.
  • Grounds and Gardens - We don't look this fabulous without some help! For the last few years, we've been the premier northern garden in the U.S. Our horticulturists and grounds crew work with hundreds of volunteers each year to plant beautiful displays for all to enjoy.
  • Horticulture Research Assistants - We're the home of the Honeycrisp, Sweet Tango, and First Kiss. In addition to our apple breeding programs, we have a robust trial garden of cold-hardy grapes and grow nearly 300 varieties of pumpkins, gourds, and squash annually. We need help maintaining these fields and sometimes collecting data.
  • Membership - Customer service skills are an essential component to helping out at the Membership desk. You'll help guide interested people through the process of becoming a member and explaining all the benefits of membership, like our Reciprocal Gardens Program.
  • Native Plant Restoration - The Lake Tamarack property is multi-purpose with an emphasis on sustainability. We are also home to the Bennett-Johnson Prairie, Grace B. Dayton Woodland Wildflower Garden, and the Spring Peeper Meadow Wetlands.
  • The Red Barn Farm campus - Opening September 14th, 2019 As we create the Red Barn Farm area next to the Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Center, we'll want your help building plots and offering educational programming.


Volunteer Groups

Perfect for corporate, school, or church groups. Do some teambuilding, get to know each other better, or celebrate a milestone. Opportunities are limited, so planning ahead is a good idea.

Please fill out this Google form to get started. We have an "Adopt An Event" program. If you'd like more information, please check the box on the form.


Contact the Volunteer Center or 612 301-1203

Office hours 10 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday

Closed on University holidays

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