Arboretum volunteers pose for a photo

2024 Volunteer Recruitment

Apply by Monday, January 8

DEADLINE: Apply by Jan. 8, 2024

We are currently recruiting volunteers to join our weekly gardening teams. 

Apply Now!

Volunteer with the Arboretum and Public Garden!

  • Do you enjoy being outside?
  • Do you have an interest in native plants?
  • Would you like to learn new skills?
  • Are you looking for a way to give back to the community?
  • Do you want early access to plant sales and other seasonal events?
  • Would you like to take advantage of the long-term cognitive benefits of volunteering?

Consider volunteering with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden! It’s a rewarding place to spend your time with lots of team camaraderie and learning. Learn more.

Time commitment

The Arboretum is looking for volunteers who are able to join a team long-term and meet regularly. Volunteers go through specialized training for these positions and are asked to commit to:

  • At least one year (and hopefully longer!) of time with our program
  • Meeting weekly on a weekday morning for 3 hours. Of course we are flexible (you can take vacations)! Most of the available opportunities this year will be on Tuesday or Friday mornings.
Are you a student?

Typically, students are not able to join volunteer teams because their schedules don't align with the weekly 3-hour sessions and minimum one-year commitment asked of the volunteers. The good news is that we have great opportunities for students, with student schedules and interests in mind. Check out our Learning by Leading program instead!

What do volunteers do?

New volunteers will have the opportunity to work with and help cultivate California native plants in the Arboretum and Public Garden. This work will include planting, pruning, mulching, weeding, and litter pick-up.

Physical requirements

The ideal volunteer will have the ability to lift 30 pounds and be physically able to perform tasks related to gardening: bending, squatting, shoveling, hoeing, digging, safely traversing slopes, and hauling of garden detritus.


Volunteers will receive a 7-week specialized training, which will cover basic gardening techniques, an introduction to the California native plants, techniques for improving habitat for native wildlife and more.

The training will be held on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon from Jan. 25 to March 7.

Volunteers will be asked to contribute a $35 training materials fee that includes a textbook, training binder, and gardening gloves

Apply by Jan. 8!


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