UC Riverside Botanic Gardens Volunteer Orientation Sessions

Volunteer with us!


Volunteers are essential to the success of the Gardens!

The UCR Botanic Gardens would not be viable without the donation of time and talent by our many volunteers.

If you are interested in learning how you can get involved in the maintenance and upkeep of the Gardens and/or help with our events and activities, continue reading!


Areas of Need

The UCR Botanic Gardens has hundreds of registered volunteers who make upkeep and improvements to our Gardens possible and assist with many other activities.  Volunteers are actively engaged and indispensable to the Gardens in the following areas:

  • Horticulture and Landscape (weeding, pruning, landscape work)
  • Visitor Services (Garden Steward to staff the gate, docent to lead tours [training required])
  • Events (plant sales, fundraisers, education/outreach)

The Gardens are open nearly every day and volunteers work with us when it is convenient for them, Mondays to Fridays, open Sundays, and occasional Saturdays. Volunteer Garden Stewards also work shifts throughout the week and event volunteers work during special weekend events such as plant sales, rose pruning demonstrations, and Bird Walks.


Types of Volunteering

Join our dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and talent to supporting the operations of the UCR Botanic Gardens. The Gardens offer a fun, collegial volunteer experience to suit all needs: regular, special event, educational support, and on call volunteering. 

Regular volunteering (regular volunteers must be 18 or older):

  • Vital, skilled role in daily operations
  • Long term weekly, biweekly, or other regular commitment
  • Enriching educational opportunities
  • Engaging social experiences

Special events:

  • Episodic, one-time opportunities
  • Diverse range of roles at every event
  • Fulfillment of community service credit
  • Working with Gardens staff and the public

On-call volunteering:

  • Using your skills and talents for Gardens special projects
  • Joining a team for occasional work days for large projects


Be a Docent

One of the primary missions of the Gardens is to serve the community as an educational resource, and leading group tours is one of the most important ways we do this. The role of our trained Docents is to lead these Gardens tours for school children and adult groups. Being a UCRBG Docent is a great way to learn about the Gardens while fulfilling this much needed volunteer role. Please call the curator at 951-827-7093 for information about the next scheduled docent training.


Be a Steward

Staff and volunteer Garden Stewards make it possible for us to keep the Gardens open! Stewards sit at a shaded table at the entrance to greet visitors, answer questions, and explain our policies. New Stewards may request an orientation to the Gardens and will be paired with an experienced Steward to become more comfortable volunteering in this role. As we recruit more Stewards, we will be able to expand our open hours! 


How to become a Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering, use the link below to fill out the Volunteer Interest Form so we can find out more about you. Once your form is submitted, you will be contacted to schedule a trial volunteer session, optional orientation (2nd & 4th Tuesday at 9:30 am), and UCR onboarding. All volunteers, including UCR staff and students, must fill out required onboarding paperwork and be signed up by UCR Personnel Services staff before becoming a volunteer. 

Volunteer interest form 

All those interested in volunteering please fill out this form. For regular volunteering you will be sent a packet of UCR Onboarding documents.

Volunteer Liability Form 

Please use this form ONLY if you are volunteering for a one-time special event or activity in the Botanic Gardens, which should be listed on the form. Once you have downloaded the pdf form, you can fill and sign electronically using Acrobat (click the Sign yourself button to add your signature), or directly on the Adobe website

Please email the completed form to ucrbg@ucr.edu

reporting Volunteer Hours

All volunteers please fill out this form after you volunteer. Thanks!


Volunteer Appreciation events are held throughout the year to recognize the efforts of our hard-working volunteers. We simply could not function without you! 

Let us help you with your search