Become a Volunteer!
Volunteers have made the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens all that it is today. Their dedication, cooperation, hard work, and creative energies are the heartbeat of the organization. From top-level policy decisions to pulling weeds, volunteers are involved in every aspect of the Gardens. We invite you to become a part of our family of volunteers - over 200 strong - and help the Gardens continue to thrive. Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden has volunteer opportunities to meet up with weekly groups or explore for an opportunity that meets your interests.
- Free training
- Horticultural knowledge and hands-on experience
- Free household membership after 25 hours of volunteer service
- A "Lifetime Membership" to the Gardens after 500 hours of volunteer service
- Volunteer appreciation events
- Satisfaction of being a participant in the growth of the Gardens
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens please fill out our brief Volunteer Application to tell us a bit more about yourself. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Loré McLaren will get back to you ASAP! You can also call 707 964-4352 ext 10, or send an email to email@example.com.
Daily and Weekly Volunteer Opportunities
Wildcard Volunteer Days
Every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30AM-12:30PM tend to a variety of the Gardens’ perennials and most prized collections: heath & heathers, Heritage Roses, begonias, rhododendrons, and dahlias. Work alongside our team of knowledgeable gardeners and friendly volunteers as you weed, prune, deadhead, identify emerging plants and wildlife, and gain inspiration for your own garden! No experience needed to join us – just the eagerness to work, learn, and watch the Gardens shift and change with the seasons. To get started contact our Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Entrance Garden Landscape
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. Flexible schedule available! To get started contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com.
If you have a passion for a particular gardening or horticulture-related subject and an interest in teaching, you may be a perfect volunteer to instruct one of our monthly workshops! A standard workshop is 2 hours (usually 10AM-12PM) on a weekend day and attended by approximately 15-25 people. As an instructor, you would create your own handouts if applicable to your subject and prepare your own lesson plan or activity. Your workshop may also include a PowerPoint presentation (projector provided by MCBG) or a demonstration out in the Gardens. Past workshop subjects have included propagation, quinoa growing and harvesting, mushroom identification, and fruit tree pruning. Workshops can even be botanical art-related. Do you have a workshop idea? If so, pitch it to us! If not, we are happy to brainstorm some ideas with you. To get started contact our Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.
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 JoLynn Nicolaides, Store Manager at (707) 964-4352, Ext. 16 or email email@example.com.
Nursery & 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasonal Dahlia Garden Volunteer Days
The magnificent Dahlia Garden displays over 150 varieties of dahlias, producing a riot of color from mid- to late-summer. Each Saturday morning June to September 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. To get started contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com. or 964-4352 x10 to join us for the Dahlia Garden Volunteer Day.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.