Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have extra time and enjoy helping the community? If so, you should consider becoming a part of our volunteer family!  You’ll get the chance to meet some friendly people, learn more about plants, and provide support for our ever-growing programs. Join us!

There’s a lot to do! You might train as a horticulture volunteer and work inside and outside the greenhouses on plant projects.  Or your choice might be to help maintain the facilities with carpentry, electrical, and maintenance work.  Maybe you’d prefer administrative support work doing office/computer tasks. Or the individual training might tempt you to work in the Gift Shop.  Training as a docent means you’d be working in our education department, doing hands-on activities with all ages. Finally, there are volunteers who help us out during our exciting special events and weddings.  

Next Volunteer Orientation
Spring 2018
(date TBD)

Hello Volunteers,

THANK YOU for your interest in volunteering at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens! Without people like you, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens would not look as wonderful as it does today! The first step on your road to becoming a volunteer is to participate in our Volunteer Orientation (held twice per year in the spring and fall). Each Orientation has several important parts:

  1. Watching the New York State required safety video (at home or at the Botanical Gardens, 50mins)
  2. Getting to know you and introducing you to the different volunteering departments and general procedures
  3. Taking an educational tour of the Botanical Gardens
  4. Sign up for events (don’t forget your schedule book!)

Watch the safety video online at home, and then come to the Botanical Gardens for an orientation to complete steps 2-4. OR come to the Botanical Gardens to watch the video after your orientation.

When you come in for your orientation please report directly to the Administration Building (the newest building behind the parking lot.)

Click here to watch the safety video.

Branch out, turn over a new leaf, and come join our team! Contact the Volunteer Department at 827.1584, ext. 207 or khammer@buffalogardens.com or sign up on the right of this page.

Click here for more information on Docent Training

Check out our latest volunteer newsletter!

Guest Services & Gift Shop

Guest Services & Gift Shop volunteers are responsible for interacting with customers, sales, maintaining accurate cash and credit records, and keeping the area tidy and attractive. They also greet visitors, provide them with maps of the Botanical Gardens and event schedules, and answer questions about the Botanical Gardens. Guest Services & Gift Shop workers participate in an orientation session and are encouraged to take the docent training classes to familiarize themselves with the Botanical Gardens and the plant collections. You must enjoy working with the public and be prepared for busy moments!


Horticulture volunteers work under the direction of one of the Botanical Gardeners or a Lead Volunteer at all times. Duties vary and may include general cleanup, potting, propagation, moving plants, trimming and deadheading, and pest management. Volunteers may be assigned to work inside the greenhouses, in the Peace Garden, or in the front gardens. Volunteer preferences will be taken in to account when making assignments.

Education Volunteer

Teach the Wonderful World of Plants - Become an Educational Docent! The Education Department provides tours and hands-on learning experiences for school, community, civic, and other groups. These volunteers are referred to as docents and partake in multiple training sessions to prepare them for their duties.

Tour Guide Docent: These docents provide tours to visiting groups, highlighting aspects of the Botanical Gardens history, special plants and plant collections. A general knowledge of botany, plant families, environmental requirements for specific plants and a willingness to continue to learn about the plant collections are essential. Training will be provided for beginning tour guide docents.

Hands-on Docent: These docents provide hands-on experiences to school groups that tour the Botanical Gardens. We offer a variety of lessons for student groups of all ages. Training to conduct the lesson activities will be provided.

Volunteers may choose either or both areas of docent work. Beginning volunteers will be paired with experienced docents in a shadowing program until they are comfortable teaching on their own. If you are interested contact the Volunteer Department at 827.1584, ext. 207 or khammer@buffalogardens.com.


Facilities volunteers assist with special projects using skills such as simple carpentry, electrical, maintenance, painting, grounds management, janitorial assistance and special event setup.

Administrative Support

Administrative support volunteers assist with clerical and organizational duties such as data entry, mass mailings, photocopying, and other clerical tasks. Computer knowledge is a must.

Special Events

The Botanical Gardens holds a variety of special events throughout the year and volunteers are needed to perform numerous tasks for these events. These duties include (but are not limited to) greeting guests, working admission tables, assisting with raffles and auctions, serving beverages, selling snacks and plants, and working in event specific responsibilities.


Volunteers who assist at weddings work in a variety of capacities that can include helping set up linens, favors, centerpieces and other items at receptions and ceremonies, assisting guests at these events, providing tours, or helping break down after events.


Join our Volunteer Family!
Contact the Volunteer Department
at 827.1584, ext. 207 or khammer@buffalogardens.com