Volunteer Needs

Volunteer group paintingVolunteering at Norfolk Botanical Garden is not only gardening! Volunteers work in every department, inside and outdoors. Yes, there is lots of mulching and weeding done year-round, but volunteers also do paperwork, work in maintenance, and even do virtual volunteering from home! Volunteer opportunities below are listed by type, with special events first and ongoing volunteer needs second. If you have questions, or need more information, please call Amanda Wells at (757) 441-5830 extension 327, or e-mail volunteer@nbgs.org. We look forward to working with you!

Everything you do makes a difference.



Gardening Assistant

Ongoing, year-round

Weekdays, 9 a.m. – Noon or 1 – 3:00 p.m.

Come and garden in 155 acres of beauty. You don’t need to have experience, you’ll learn as you grow. This is not a one day assignment, but designed for people who want to work and learn for at least a season. (Minimum age 16, or must be accompanied by parent/guardian.)

We can schedule a special group gardening day when your organization can come to the Garden, work for a few hours, then enjoy the Garden the rest of the day. Contact us for information.

Rose Garden Volunteer                                                                          

Ongoing, year-round

Weekdays, 9:00 AM – Noon or 1:00 – 3:00 PM.

Looking for an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and get away from the stress of everyday life? Come and garden 3 acres of beautiful roses. You don’t need experience, you’ll learn as you grow. This is not a one day assignment, but designed for people to work at least one season. Tasks may include weeding, removing spent blooms and pruning. (Minimum age 16.)

Call 757-441-5830 ext. 327 or send an email.


Wow Events:nightowl

Goodnight Garden
Friday, August 7
7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Second Saturdays
Saturday, August 8
10:00 AM-1:30 PM or 12:30 PM-4:00 PM

Join us for these fun outdoor events in our children’s garden. Volunteers will man stations with crafts and brochures to hand out to guests.
Outdoor work and walking required. Please be prepared to stand for the shift. (Minimum age 16.)

Virginia Honey Bee Festival

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Join the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia and Norfolk Botanical Garden again this year for a fun filled day with bee products, activities, vendors and great information. We need volunteers to help with children’s crafts, to greet guests and help transport plants. (Minimum age 16).

Volunteer Shifts:

  • 9:15 AM-12:15 PM FULL
  • 12:00 PM-2:00 PM FULL
  • 1:45 PM-5:00 PM FULL

Send an email.

Incredible Edibles

April-OctoberIncredible Edibles Final logo
9:00 AM-Noon or 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Do you have a knack for growing vegetables and love talking to people? Then we need you for the kitchen garden and Discovery Peak!
You will get your hands dirty and learn as you grow by  weeding, digging, planting and harvesting the produce!
Volunteers will work with the public ,outside, giving seed planting demonstrations, container gardening information and give walk and talks through both gardens. Experience helpful, but not necessary. Instruction, training and feedback provided. (Minimum age 16; background check required to volunteer at Discovery Peak, located in children’s garden)
Call 757-441-5830 ext. 327 or email.



Butterfly House Guide

June 12-September 20, 2015
Seven days a week
9:45 AM-6:45 PM, Two hour shifts

We need enthusiastic volunteers with a passion for customer service and education to show off our beautiful butterflies! This is the perfect opportunity to learn butterfly_house_inside_350and meet new people; we provide trainings on butterfly basics. Be prepared to walk, work outside and stand for the shift. (Minimum age 16, or must be accompanied by a parent/guardian).

Butterfly House Orientations (New volunteers are required to attend 1 session)

  • Contact Volunteer Services to schedule an orientation

Butterfly House Trainings (New and returning volunteers suggested to attend 1 session for educational opportunity)

  • August 4-2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Please call 757-441-5830 ext. 327 or email what orientation or training you will attend.

Garden Ambassador

April-October 2015
Any day of the week, weekends preferred

Garden Ambassadors welcome guests and provide information to ensure the guest makes the most of their visit. The ambassador volunteers at an information station located in Baker Hall Visitor’s Center lobby; ambassadors hand out maps, give directions and answer general questions. Ambassadors may be asked to walk guests to locations outside of the visitor’s center, provide excellent customer service and act in a professional manner at all times. This opportunity requires at least a 5 shift commitment; orientation and training are provided. (Minimum age 16.)

Volunteer Shifts:
10:15 AM-1:15 PM
1:00 PM-4:30 PM

Gift Shop Volunteer

Thursdays 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Fridays 9:00 AM-1:00 PM & 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 1:00 PM-5:00 PM

Norfolk Botanical Garden is seeking dynamic volunteers with customer service and recent retail experience to volunteer in our newly renovated Gift Shop. Qualified volunteers should be comfortable assisting guests, working a register and handling computer transactions. This is indoor work, but be prepared to stand for most of the shift. The Gift Shop is looking for  a committed volunteer who can assist once a week. (Minimum age 18.)

Senior Leaders in Training

Norfolk Botanical Garden WOW Children’s Garden is a great place for teenagers to learn about nature, gain leadership skills, make new friends and earn volunteer hours for college applications and resumes. Volunteer as a WOW Leader, cost: $25 ($20 NBG Members) includes Orientation, Tuesday Team Training Meetings with leadership games and horticulture activities, T-shirt and End of Summer Party.

  • Greet guests and provide general information about the Children’s Garden and NBG.
  • Set up and teach Discovery Cart activities at various locations throughout WOW. Topics include botany, plant & animal identification, vegetable gardening, arts and crafts and more! All information is included with activity guides.
  • Support a clean and safe environment through light indoor and outdoor cleaning and activity preparation.
  • Shifts are almost entirely outdoors.
  • Assist Youth Education staff as they lead classes and programs.
  • Hours/Dates: June-August * Monday-Sunday 9AM-7PM (Partial- Day shifts available)
  • Minimum age 14, or must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

WOW Guide

Starting February 2015
Seven days a week 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 pm.

WOW Guides work in the children’s garden. Volunteers make sure that guests have fun and safe experience. Volunteers greet guests, staff stations and help clean up. Please be ready to work outside and be on your feet. (For ages 10-13 and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.)

Library Assistant

Saturdays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. or Sundays 1 – 4 p.m. or Mondays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Attention Book Lovers! Norfolk Botanical Garden is looking for weekend Library Assistants for the Fred Huette Library. Work with the public, learn library skills, and enjoy a fine horticultural library. A great once a month volunteering opportunity. (Minimum age 16, or must be accompanied by parent/guardian.)


Administrative Support

Weekdays, some weekends possible
Looking for indoor work with no heavy lifting? Want beautiful scenery nearby? This is the volunteer opportunity for you. Work in education and other departments to help get that all important paperwork done. Junior volunteers (14 – 17) welcome.

Facilities Support

Seven days a week, weekends preferred
Flexible shifts, usually 2-3 hours during the hours of 9 am – 5 pm
This is for people who enjoy hard work and seeing immediate results. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds. Assist with room set ups and cleaning. Work with the facilities crew and be an important part of making the Garden shine. This can be a one shift assignment. (Minimum age 16, or must be accompanied by parent/guardian.)

Education Volunteer

Weekdays 9:00 AM-Noon or 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
This position is for a dynamic person who should be prepared to get crafty and shouldn’t mind getting their hands dirty. You may be helping prepare for upcoming classes, working on a computer, or helping maintain flower arrangements. The possibilities are endless! This is not a one day assignment, but designed for people who want to work and learn. (Minimum age 16.) We require a 2-day shift commitment each month.