Volunteer at San Diego Botanic Garden

Volunteer Program

Volunteering at SDBG is a great way to learn about plants and culture, meet people with similar interests, hone your horticultural skills, contribute to SDBG’s mission, and share your knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors. We have an enthusiastic and hard-working group of 250+ active volunteers who participate in a variety of assignments and events. We are looking for volunteers who are interested in making a positive impact at the Garden and in their own personal growth. Opportunities are available year-round, weekday mornings, weekends, and some evenings, in various areas and tasks throughout the Garden.

How to Apply

Applications for the Fall 2022 Volunteer Orientation are now closed. Approved applicants will be notified in September 2022 about next steps. Applications for the Spring 2023 Volunteer Orientation will open later this year. Please check back in the winter for active links to complete each step.

STEP ONE – Download and complete authorization form for background check. Submit to Careers via Contact Us.

STEP TWO – Complete the volunteer application online.


All volunteers must successfully pass a background check. All volunteers are required to be Garden members and work at least 60 hours annually.  New volunteers are required to work at least 15 hours (5 shifts) and become a Garden member within the first three months. After completing initial requirements, interested volunteers may apply for Docent Training, a series of classes focusing on SDBG plant collections.

What to Expect After You Apply

You will receive an email within 3 weeks of submitting your application and background check authorization. If your interests align with current needs, we will invite you to attend our next New Volunteer Orientation (Spring 2023) to learn more about available assignments and Garden policies. We accept volunteers based on current Garden priorities and the information you provide in your Volunteer Application, including your areas of interest and skill set. We receive a high volume of applications and are not always able to place every applicant.

Volunteer Position Descriptions

Volunteer assignments include opportunities to serve as ambassadors, work in gardening and horticulture, support conservation efforts, assist children’s education programs, work at the gift shop, and lead tours. Learn about the various volunteer opportunities to support SDBG’s mission.