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Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 47 acres of botanical bliss fronting the Pacific Ocean

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2017 Volunteer Opportunities

Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden has volunteer opportunities to meet up with weekly groups or explore for an opportunity that meets your interests. Coordination of all MCBG Volunteers is through the Volunteer Coordinator located in the Administration Building. Applications are available in the office or at The Garden Store. For more information on the various volunteer opportunities lead contact persons are identified.  


Daily and Weekly Volunteer Opportunities

Entrance Garden Landscape  NEW

Gardener Jenny Lang would love your help capturing the attention of our incoming guests and casual onlookers by beautifying the front Entrance Garden. In her work, Jenny strives to reflect what visitors will see throughout the rest of the Botanical Gardens, creating excitement and anticipation for what lies beyond the gates. Work with conifers, heathers, a variety of perennials, and learn to identify and eradicate weeds and invasive species. Contact Jennifer Lang at gardener_jennifer@gardenbythesea.org to get started.

Dahlia Garden Volunteer Days  NEW

The magnificent Dahlia Garden displays over 150 varieties of dahlias, producing a riot of color from mid- to late-summer. Each Saturday morning from 9AM to 12PM alongside MCBG Gardener Jim Celeri, learn about these dramatic beauties and enjoy the brilliant vibrancy they bring to this area of the Gardens. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Molly Rosenthal at administration@gardenbythesea.org or 964-4352 x10 to join us for the Dahlia Garden Volunteer Day.

Woodland Garden Work & Learn  

Join Gardener Mishele Stettenbenz each Thursday from 9AM to 12PM for weeding, planting, and pruning in the shady and serene Woodland Garden. Listen to the meditative croaking of frogs and buzzing of hummingbirds as you learn about a wide range of interesting shade and moisture loving plants: deciduous trees and shrubs, ferns, magnolias, maples, azaleas, rhododendrons, carnivorous plants, California native plants, and fuchsias. Contact Mishele at gardener_mishele@gardenbythesea.org to get started.

The Garden Store

The store needs volunteers to unpack and shelve merchandise, greet visitors and take payments, operate cash register, and explain what people will see in the Gardens. Volunteers are needed for daily operations, especially in high season. For more information contact Sarah Flowers, Store Manager at (707) 964-4352, Ext. 16 or email store@gardenbythesea.org.

Heritage Rose Garden, Heath and Heather Garden, Perennial Garden

Tend to the Gardens’ Heritage Rose Collection each Tuesday. Almost all the roses in this special collection were discovered along roadsides and on old homesteads and ranches here in Mendocino County. Care for the award collection of heaths and heathers starts back up each Tuesday in March and will also include work in the spectacular Perennial Garden. These are sections of the Gardens that delight all visitors and provide an opportunity to become expert in gardening with these plants. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Molly Rosenthal at administration_volunteer@gardenbythesea.org.

Nursery on the Plaza & Propagation

Volunteers in the Nursery provide advice to customers, help stock shelves, watering in season and provide information about the Gardens to visitors. It is particularly helpful to have volunteers augment and spell staff over the lunch hours in the busy season, May through September. In addition, volunteers help to propagate plants by seed, cuttings, and division under the supervision of the Nursery Manager or Assistant Manager. Propagation makes available many of the interesting and unusual plants showcased in the Gardens. Call Sophia Pisciotta at (707) 964-4352, Ext. 12 or email at nursery@gardenbythesea.org.

Perennial Garden

Join us in the Perennial Garden  March through September to help ready our eye-catching showcase garden for the summer crowds. Expect to weed, prune, deadhead, dig, listen to bees and frogs, work hard, breathe fresh air, answer questions from our many visitors and obtain inspiration for your own garden! Learn about the vast variety of perennial plants in our showcase garden. Identify plants as they emerge for spring. Committed volunteers will be able to help theorize design plans and closely watch how the garden evolves and shifts as the seasons pass. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Molly Rosenthal at administration_volunteer@gardenbythesea.org.

Seasonal Rhododendron Care

Over 1,000 Rhododendrons can be seen blooming throughout the Gardens from early spring until June. Learn to care for over 125 species of rhododendrons and more than 190 cultivars. Volunteers needed daily, April through June. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Molly Rosenthal at administration_volunteer@gardenbythesea.org.

Rhody's Garden Café

Help prepare beverages at Rhody's Café while learning some delicious tricks of the trade from Marie, our culinary genius of a Cafe Manager. April through September, Rhody's needs volunteers for lunch service shifts from 12PM to 3PM on Fridays or Saturdays. Work with a fun crew and prepare and serve nutritious and organic meals! This opportunity is great for those with a passion for food. Volunteers must be able to stand for most of the shift. Please contact Marie at mendomarie@comcast.net.

Vegetable Garden  YEAR-ROUND

Last year we took over 6,000 lbs of fresh produce from our organic demonstration garden to the Fort Bragg Food Bank! In addition, we have been building a community of volunteers who work hard and share knowledge and excitement about food and medicinal plants. If you are interested in food production, organic gardening, and feeding the Fort Bragg community please join us in the Vegetable Garden each Monday and Friday from 9AM 12PM. Join the fun and learn how to grow your own! Contact Jaime Jensen at lead_gardener@gardenbythesea.org.


Special Volunteer Assignments

Docents – The Gardens are called up to provide docents for school groups and VIP visitors. Training is available!

Bulk Mailings – The Gardens sends out mailings approximately 10-12 times a year and it takes a team to get one out. This is a fun way to work with others and help the Gardens.

Construction Projects – The Gardens is always in need of volunteers to help maintain facilities, construct potting tables and help with other construction projects. The team that works on these projects is fun and very talented.  

Office Help – Volunteers to answer the phones and help with office administration are always needed. 

Library – The Library is only open when staffed by Master Gardeners of other volunteers and provides a wealth of information about gardens, gardening, and plants.

Ongoing Projects & Special Events

We always need docents, cashiers, library helpers, data entry support, newsletter helpers, brochure and poster distribution helpers, and support with our special fundraising event, Art in the Gardens and Festival of Lights.


MCBG Volunteer Opportunities (Printable PDF)

MCBG Volunteer Brochure