Volunteer Opportunities

The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum relies on almost 200 volunteers to keep this place growing! How would you like to help? Click on an opportunity below and provide information for your area(s) of interest. Fill in your contact information (bottom of the page) and a volunteer coordinator will contact you. [If you prefer, you can print out a volunteer interest sheet.]

(Current volunteers: you can enter your volunteer hours on line here.)

Dried Flower Wreath Making Day and time varies (more...)

Would you like the opportunity to express yourself creatively?
The Dried Flower and Wreath-making group creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind wreaths and arrangements for sale at our annual November fundraiser and at Norrie's Gift Shop. Group members are happy to assist and teach interested beginners. Work usually beings in the summer months, but some of it goes on year 'round.

Interested? <== check this box and we will contact you with information.

Lane Horticultural Library Wed–Sun, Noon–3pm (more...)

Volunteers are needed Wednesday through Sunday to staff the Jean and Bill Lane Horticultural Library.  Be available to answer general questions about the Library and the Arboretum, help re-shelve books, sort newly donated journals, work on the organization of special collections (i.e. photos and slides), archives and more. We will train you.

Interested? <== check this box and we will contact you with information.

Meet & Greet Weekends and weekdays(more...)

The Meet & Greet Program has been a success since its inception in 2011! Adding a personal touch at the front gate, greeters provide a garden map and small handout of seasonal Arboretum events, share what is blooming in the gardens, and encourage memberships. The added revenue helps support our numerous programs and keeps the gardens growing.
   Our goal is to expand the program to have full coverage at the gate 7 days a week by recruiting more volunteers to work a minimum of one shift per month. Some greeters have several shifts each month.
   We encourage you to learn more about the program, train with a greeter at the gate and then sign up for a shift or two. We make it fun!

What day(s) are you avaliable? Please check at least one:
Weekends, 10:00–1:00    Weekends, 1:00–4:00              Weekdays, 9:00–1:00   Weekdays, 1:00–5:00

In the box below, please tell any additional information that might be helpful:

Norrie's Gift Shop Daily, 10am–1pm and 1pm–4pm (more...)

Norrie's Gift Shop – run entirely by volunteers – not only serves as a critical source of revenue for the Arboretum, but also is a valuable visitor center for our guests. Ways to support Norrie's includes working in the shop, organizational tasks, shopping for, ordering, unpacking, pricing and displaying merchandise. Also needed are people with computer skills to do merchandise data entry. Many of the volunteers have developed new and interesting skills and established new friendships while supporting the goals of the Arboretum through volunteering at Norrie's.

Interested? In the box below, please tell us what days and hours you are available along with any other information that might be helpful:

Office Assistance Weekdays, by arrangement (more...)

Do you like to do a little of everything?  Answer phones, run errands, file, stuff envelopes, behind-the-scenes prep for events, dust and tidy up, help direct visitors to enjoy the gardens.  

Monday  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday What day(s) are you available? Please check at least one
In the box below, tell us what hours you are available along with any other information that might be helpful:

Succulent Gardening Hours by arrangement (more...)

Volunteers keep the succulent collection healthy. Opportunities include upkeep of the succulent garden (mostly weeding), working in the desert house dome and Echeveria house, transplanting succulents, and up-keep and weeding of the for sale succulents at Norrie's. Hours are flexible for this option.

Interested? In the box below, please tell us what days and hours you are available along with any other information that might be helpful:

Succulent Wreath Making Wed, 10am–Noon. (more...)

The succulent group meets at the Arboretum growing area on Wednesdays from 10am to noon to make living succulent wreaths and dish/container gardens for sale at Norrie's. This is a great opportunity to explore your creativity designing unique wreaths and miniature gardens and learn about the versatility of succulents in a supportive and fun group - it is easier than it looks! For weeding and re-potting, no commitment is required. We prefer a 4 week commitment, if you are learning to make wreaths and dish gardens.

Interested? <== check this box

Other Volunteer Activities By arrangement (more...)

There are more volunteer activities in addition to those listed above. Some are seasonal, such as our annual spring and fall plant sales. Others are infrequent or occur at irregular intervals, such as setting up for special events. You might even have suggestions about lending your special talents to help out the Arboretum.

Interested? In the box below, please tell about yourself, your interests, and experience along any other information that might be helpful. Will we contact you to talk about possibilities:

Gardening and Weeding Weekday mornings (more...)

Interested in joining a weeding group?
Unlike the other volunteer oportunities listed here there's no need to submit information in advance. Before or during your first visit, please stop by the office or contact the office by phone or email for more information.

The gardening/weeding groups are fun and easy to join, and they're great way to learn about the gardens. Just stop by the office and you will be directed to the group. Please bring gloves, water, and sun protection; the garden curator will show you the ropes. If the schedules below don't fit your needs it may be possible to arrange for independent work by coordinating with a curator.

  • Natives First Gardeners (California plants) Tuesday, 9:00am to 12:00pm
    • Meet at the Entrance Garden off the lower parking lot.
  • Kiwi Gardeners (New Zealand plants) Tuesdays, 9:30am to 12:30pm
    • Meet in the New Zealand Garden.
  • Aussie Weeders (Australian plants) Thursdays, starting at 9:00am
    • Meet near the upper Horticultural Buildings.
  • Eucalyptus Grove — days and times vary
    • Contact Melinda Kralj:
Contact info: (all fields are required)
(We prefer to make initial contact by phone; if you'd rather not supply a number, please enter "NA" in its place.)
Is this to satisfy a community service requirement? Yes No

  For validation, please enter the word "flower" in the box, left.