Become a Volunteer at the Gardens

volunteer trip volunteer trip
Flower Show



Over 100 members strong, our volunteer workforces are noteworthy members of our staff team.  We work together to provide the best possible experience for our many visitors through out the year.  We want your involvement to be both positive and rewarding while helping to further the Gardens' mission to educate both students and the general public alike.


Information for Corporate/Large Group/Fraternal Volunteers


Information for Individual Voluteers

December 2014 calendar- See our Volunteer opportunities for this month

Becoming a Volunteer-

Volunteer Orientation Dates-
Orientation takes place at 6pm in the Holly House located in the Rutgers Gardens.

Please contact MaryAnne McMillan if you would like to attend a Volunteer Orientation.

Each prospective volunteer must complete the following:

  • Submit a Volunteer Application. Please e mail the Volunteer Coordinator MaryAnne McMillan to request the application.
  • Attend a general orientation meeting which shall include a summary of the Rutgers Gardens and it's history, a review of policies and procedures, a discussion of volunteer positions and opportunities. Dates to be announced.
  • Receive additional job training relative to those specific assigned volunteer jobs.

Time Sheet- To be eligible to receive our volunteer benefits please make sure to submit your volunteer time sheet every month. You can e mail it directly to MaryAnne McMillan

Volunteer Opportunities

flower show volunteer work day


Children’s Programs
Volunteers will help the Rutgers Gardens Children’s program coordinator with the school/camp programs that visit the gardens and with the Community Youth Garden (a vegetable garden for Children). An interest in children and sharing learning opportunities with them is important.  Volunteers also needed to assist with the maintenance of the Community Youth Garden.

Event Committees
Volunteers are needed for the many special events that are held at the Gardens. Volunteers, both novice and serious gardeners, are needed to help plan both our fundraising and educational events. Events help fund our educational mission while raising public awareness of the programs and activities of the Gardens. Events include participation in Rutgers Day, our Spring Plant Sale, Open House and Wine Tasting Festival, the Garden Gala,and Fall Festival.

Farm Market                                                                                                    
Volunteers will support the Rutgers Gardens through plant sales at the Farm Market every Friday from 11:00 pm-5 pm in May through November. Volunteers will inform the farm market visitors about activities and events scheduled at Rutgers Gardens and help with the general set-up needs of the event.

Garden Stewards see a list of gardens and tasks                                                                              

Seasoned volunteers will mentor newer volunteers as they oversee and tend specific gardens throughout the Gardens. Depending upon the garden, the volunteer’s tasks may include helping with the garden design, planting, maintenance and putting the garden to bed in the fall. Volunteers are needed to help our staff/interns maintain our 60+ cultivated acre property.  Seasonally, there is a need for help with transplanting flowers and shrubs, pruning of trees and bushes, spreading wood chips and the removal of brush and invasive plants.

Gift Shop  
Volunteers are needed to staff the garden’s gift shop on weekends from April through October. The Gift shop will also be open during special events.  Tasks will include greeting and interacting with our many visitors, assisting with stocking, and the set-up of shop displays. Customer service skills are helpful. Volunteers in the Gift shop will also hand out information about the gardens and the various educational events held here.

Greenhouse volunteers
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10am -12 noon, volunteers can come and learn in the greenhouse by helping complete the week’s to do list. Learn how to properly water, propagate, prune, divide and pot up plants in the greenhouses. Volunteers will be trained in these tasks by Rutgers Gardens staff and seasoned interns.  They will learn the accepted Greenhouse procedures and will gain knowledge about the plants found in the greenhouse.

Office Assistance  
Volunteers will perform administrative duties including mailings (stuffing, labeling, sorting etc.), data entry, filing and the delivery of promotional literature/garden newspapers to various locales in the community.

Tour Docent
Volunteers will lead a 90-minute tour one Saturday a month at 2 p.m., rain or shine, as well as group tours by request during weekdays. Tours will include school groups, adult visitors, and garden clubs.  Docents will be given training and a garden tour script.


Volunteer Benefits

Aside from the obvious benefits of helping the community and the Gardens, active volunteers who work a minimum of 30 hours per year, will learn new skills, make new friends and receive the following benefits:

  • Discounts on our classes and plant sales
  • Rutgers Gardens t-shirt at cost
  • Specialized training, including many hands-on programs
  • Volunteer appreciation dinners
  • Recognition for volunteer hours
  • Special off-site trips to neighboring gardens, wholesale and retail nurseries