Volunteer

Volunteers play a critical role in helping the San Antonio Botanical Garden grow. Whether you can dedicate a few hours a week, or even just help with special events, the Botanical Garden invites you to join its volunteer community. No experience is necessary — just a love for the Garden.

Benefits

In return for their time, volunteers gain experience in areas including horticulture, education, development, and visitor experience. 

In addition, the Botanical Garden provides:

  • complimentary admission on the day of service
  • 20% discount at the Garden Gift Shop on the day of service
  • an annual volunteer recognition picnic
  • complimentary admission to select Botanical Garden classes

The minimum age to volunteer is 12. Volunteers younger than 15 years must be accompanied by an adult.

How to Become a Volunteer

The Botanical Garden uses the website GivePulse to share volunteer opportunities and manage hours. General information and requirements can be found at sabot.givepulse.com. You must register as a GivePulse member to sign-up to be a volunteer (this is different from a Botanical Garden membership).

To register as a member:

  1. Go to givepulse.com and click the “Become Member” button to begin.
  2. Your application will be reviewed by Garden staff; you will receive an email if your application is accepted.
  3. Once accepted, you will be able to see and sign-up for volunteer opportunities under the “events” tab.

For additional questions, contact Maeve Bassett at [email protected].

Potential Volunteer Opportunities

Opportunities available based on seasonality and capacity; some opportunities require training, certificates, and/or background checks. Click here to view the Botanical Garden’s current volunteer opportunities and requirements.

Adventure Garden Guides invite and encourage unstructured nature play, lead hands-on discovery activities, and support the Botanical Garden Staff with area upkeep.

CHEF volunteers give tours of The Zachry Foundation Culinary Garden to children and assist them with interactive activities such as cooking and scavenger hunts.

Volunteer in one of the nation’s oldest youth gardening programs. All levels of experience and commitment are welcome to join and work outside with kids and families.

Share your passion for gardening with the community by answering visitors’ garden questions and teach how ‘Good Food Grows’ through personal interaction and hands-on activities. The Culinary Garden Docent volunteer opportunity is an extension-approved volunteer activity and available only to certified Bexar County Master Gardeners.

Gardening volunteers perform routine garden installation and maintenance duties. Volunteers may choose to train to work in all areas of the Botanical Garden or may opt to work in a specific area(s).

Volunteers in this group support front-of-garden programming to ensure guests feel welcome and informed as soon as they enter the garden. Activities may include event greeting, garden greeters, and assisting in the Garden Gift Shop.

If you are interested in learning about nonprofit fundraising and advocating for the Botanical Garden’s mission, our welcoming and professional Membership Sales Ambassadors team is a perfect fit for you. These enthusiastic and welcoming volunteers assist in recruiting new members to the Botanical Garden.

Propagation volunteers help produce and maintain plants for use in the Botanical Garden. Volunteers can work in the general nursery and on greenhouse projects or can work with the Plant Sales team which grows plants for the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s Plant Sales.

The Botanical Garden’s public and special events are critical to its mission, helping to increase funding and community engagement. BOOtanica, Viva Botanica, Family Flashlight Night, and Brews and Blooms are just a few of the events which require volunteer support.

Can you teach others about the importance of the environment and about the awesome qualities of plants? Volunteers learn how to teach children using experiential learning and inquiry-based design principles, outdoor learning experiences and real-world applications to teach the importance of plants. See below for school program volunteer opportunities.

  • Terrarium School Program volunteers use experiential learning practices to teach children (grades 1 – 5) about ecosystems, plant adaptations, the water cycle, and the importance of environmental stewardship through building a terrarium.
  • Conservatory Tour volunteers give children (grades 1 – 5) TEKS-based interactive guided tours of the Lucile Halsell Conservatory.
  • Early Childhood Life Cycle Program volunteers use experiential learning practices to teach children (grades Pre-K – K) about life cycles through interactive teacher and volunteer led stations.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

The Botanical Garden offers volunteer projects opportunities for groups of 4-20 people, which will be posted here as they become available February – June and September – November. The months of July, August, December, and January may be skipped to account for weather and holidays.

Volunteers will have access to lockers and a volunteer breakroom with refrigerator and microwave.

Requirements:

  • All group members will be required to sign a liability release.
  • All volunteers must be over the age of 12.
  • For youth (12-15) volunteers, one adult (18+) must be present for every 4 youths.
  • Bring water and snacks/lunch. Anything else needed will be included in the requirements.

Opportunities will be given to the first group, meeting the event’s requirements (people, dates, etc.), who emails Maeve Bassett at [email protected].

Packing S’mores Bags

Supervisor: Lexi Phelps

Date: March 9th

Hours: 3-5 p.m.

Group Size: 6-8 people

Requirements: N/A

Description: Come help us pack the s’mores bags for the upcoming Family Flashlight Night.

 

Sanding and Painting Garden Building

Supervisor: Sam Hogg

Date(s) please choose one: March 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th

Hours: 4 Hours between 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Group Size: 6-8 people

Requirements: Work clothes that may get paint on them. 

Description:  Come help our maintenance team with a much-needed sanding and re-painting on our administration building and a WaterSaver Lane house.

 

Laying Pine Straw on the East Texas Pineywoods Trail

Supervisor: Andrew Labay

Date(s) please choose one: March 3rd, 4th, 10th, or 11th

Hours: 8 – 11 a.m.

Group Size: 6-8

Requirements: Walking on non-paved terrain, bending, and carrying materials

Description: Help our horticulture team lay pine straw on the train surrounding the East Texas Pineywoods lake. This straw helps add acid and organic material into the soil that the East Texas plants need to stay healthy.

 

Mulching Rose Garden

Supervisor: Dennis Joy

Date(s) please choose one: March 6th or 7th

Hours: 8-11 a.m.

Group Size: 6-8 people

Requirements: Pushing wheelbarrows of mulch (approximately 40lbs) and spreading it. Be aware of weather forecast and wear appropriate clothing. Bring work gloves.

Description: Our rose garden is working hard to put on a beautiful display for Valentine’s Day. Help us take care of it before the hot weather starts to move in.

 

Learn About and Help Maintain the Native Trails

Supervisor: Maeve Bassett

Date(s) please choose one: March 19th or 26th    

Hours: 10 am – 12pm

Group Size: 6-10 people

Requirements: Bring personal gloves and pruners if you have them. 

Description: Come help out in the Native Trail areas with the Garden’s conservation coordinator and horticulture staff. This is intended to be an educational volunteer day; learn about native plant gardening, ethnobotany, and ask questions while you work! 

Internships

The Botanical Garden offers several types of internships throughout the year. Available internships, descriptions, and application information will be posted below.