Without the enthusiasm and dedication of volunteers, The Ruth Bancroft Garden would not be here today. Volunteers are instrumental in maintaining the garden and supporting the organization. Volunteering at the Garden is a wonderful way to enjoy this exceptional garden and contribute to its success. We accept applications year-round.

Volunteer Application

Ruth Bancroft Garden volunteers must:

  1. Have a current RBG membership. Learn more about the benefits of membership here.  Inquire with alice@ruthbancroftgarden.org if you need financial assistance.
  2. Have an email address; this is our main form of communication for all RBG volunteers.
  3. Submit an online volunteer application form.

After an application form is received, a short/informal interview in the garden will be scheduled.  Volunteers will then be asked to:

  1. Read and agree to follow the Garden’s volunteer policies and procedures as defined in our Volunteer Handbook
  2. Attend a docent-led garden tour.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

See below for our various volunteer opportunities at the garden.  Click on the job title below to see a brief description of the key duties and time commitments involved.

Weeding Warriors

Weeding Warriors provide valuable assistance in helping the Garden to look it’s best.  All the necessary tools and equipment are provided.

Time: Thursday mornings (9am-11am)

Tasks: Garden weeding, fertilizing, path maintenance, irrigation


Docents/ Tour Guides

Docents/ Tour Guides play an important role in educating visitors about the Garden’s plants and its history.  Our annual, 6-month long Docent Training Program (November-April) will prepare you to lead tours in the Garden.  Click here for more information and to apply.

Time: Weekdays & Weekends


Office Assistance Volunteers

Office Assistance Volunteers – help the office staff with a variety of clerical, computer, design and/or data entry tasks depending upon your interests and skill set.

Time: flexible Tuesdays – Fridays between 9am – 4pm

Sample Tasks:

  • Mailings (stuff envelopes, sticker mailing addresses, etc.)
  • Graphic Design (create flyers, signage for events)
  • Data entry (Excel, Altru, training provided)
  • Outreach (design, distribution and research)


Special Event Volunteers

Event Volunteers help when we need extra people-power during special events such as our Plant Sales, Annual Dinner, Sculpture Show, Garden of d’Lights and other social and educational events.

Time: variable days and times throughout the year

Tasks: support with set-up and clean-up, and during the event things such as greeters, parking attendants, beverage servers, guides, etc.

PlantSnap App Volunteer

PlantSnap App Volunteer –  The PlantSnap App helps people ID plants with their mobile phone.  RBG has a notable plant collection that we’d like to add to their database, as it’s a crowd-sourced index of photos and plant names.

  • Requirements– Must have your own smartphone (that you know how to navigate fairly easily) that has sufficient storage space for photos and purchase/install the Premium version of the Plant Snap app (not the free version).
  • Commitment– The initial trial run will be to capture the What’s in Bloom hand-out (generated at the beginning of each month).  You will be required to come to the garden during the first week of the month for approximately 2 hours (depending on smartphone skill set).

Plant Collection Inventory Assistant

Plant Collection Inventory Assistant – assists with plant collection inventory with a variety of tasks such as placing out temporary/permanent plant tags and take plant size measurements.

  • Requirements – Must be able to bend/kneel/squat in tight planting spaces and be able to nimbly walk into garden beds amongst small/spiky/delicate plantings.  Must have basic plant ID skills of general plant groups (ex. know the difference between an agave and an aloe).

Time: Once a week, on a Thursday or Friday, from 11:30am-12:30pm.

Banner photo by John Ricca