Interested in joining our volunteer team? Our 175 acres need constant care and attention, and our volunteer contingent helps us immensely by cleaning up our plant beds, planting bulbs and young plants, watering, mulching and so much more!

Volunteering 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 assist our administration team with paperwork, conduct retail transactions in our gift shop and event volunteers greet guests as they enter our visitor center!

Our Youth Volunteer Policy

We currently do not have volunteer opportunities available for individual youth volunteers. If you are interested in scheduling an opportunity for your youth group, please email volunteer@nbgs.org. We welcome students, scouts, or clubs who want to come out as a group for a special project. The ratio of adults to youth is 1 adult to every 5 youth, and the adults will work alongside the younger volunteers.

  • Volunteers younger than ages 10-16 are required to work alongside a parent or family member at least 18 years old.
  • Minimum age for volunteers working on their own is 16 years.

Please note: volunteer applications are accepted on an as needed basis.

Norfolk Botanical Garden policy prevents us from honoring court-related or court-ordered community service.  

Volunteer Opportunities

Horticulture Volunteer

Are you a plant person?  With over 175 acres and 65+ unique gardens, there are a wide variety of horticulture opportunities for volunteers here at Norfolk Botanical Garden.

Interested in a particular type of plant?  Work with our prominent collections of roses, hydrangeas, and camellias.

Drawn towards a particular style of garden?  From colonial style herb gardens to vast natural areas, there is something for everyone!

New to gardening or just need some direction?  No experience needed!

Butterfly House Volunteer

Volunteer this summer in the Butterfly House! Our ambassadors greet guests and answer questions about the native butterflies and caterpillars in the house, as well as the surrounding habitat.

  • Like being outdoors?
  • Want to share your excitement and passion for nature?
  • Want to learn more about butterflies and related plants?

Come and join the team! We’re currently looking to expand our Butterfly House volunteer family, and searching for outgoing and passionate individuals eager to help the Garden work towards it’s mission of Education Conservation!

Butterfly House Volunteer Training

In addition to standard volunteer training, butterfly house volunteers will undergo an extensive dive into the world of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars, ensuring that they are knowledgeable, confident, and ready to engage with the public.

(Volunteers new to the butterfly house are required to attend 1 session)

Butterfly House trainings are underway for 2024. Preregistration in VolunteerHub is required for Butterfly Trainings. New volunteers must complete NBG volunteer onboarding process by first submitting a volunteer application.

Butterfly House Volunteer Expectations:

  • Work outside in summer conditions
  • Engage with visitors and interpret the exhibit
  • Relay correct information on species and exhibit
  • Be punctual and reliable regarding shifts
  • Attend mandatory training and educational sessions prior to first shift
  • Abide by the NBG volunteer dress code and wear volunteer badge
  • Assist in enforcing butterfly house rules and protection of specimens
  • Minor garden maintenance in the butterfly house
Special Events Volunteer

Only have weekend or evening availability?  Join our special events volunteer team and out at our biggest events like the Plant Sale, summer festivals, and holiday programs.  We are looking for outgoing and friendly volunteers to create a memorable experience for our guests!

Special Volunteer Programs

Teen Volunteer Program

Visit https://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/learn/teen-volunteer-opportunities/ for more information.

The NBG Teen Volunteer Program is a 10-week summer program that provides teens between ages 14-18 with the opportunity to learn about nature, develop work and leadership skills, make new friends, and earn volunteer hours for college applications and resumes.

Group Volunteering

Interested in bringing a group of volunteers out to Norfolk Botanical Garden? We work with hundreds of volunteers every year from the military, local schools, and nearby business!  Groups projects are often hosted on weekday mornings and afternoon, but also sometimes on weekends too.

Most groups assist our horticulture team with various gardening projects such as mulching, weeding, planting, and cleaning.

School, club or organization staff and/or parent chaperones must accompany and supervise the students/children at all times. Projects are selected at an age appropriate level and may include simple tools, such as trowels, rakes, glue, scissors, etc.

If interested in volunteering as a group please fill out a Group Volunteer Application.

The Benefits of Becoming a Long-Term Volunteer

When you volunteer at Norfolk Botanical Garden, you gain a variety of valuable personal benefits. You can try a new field of interest or expand your existing skills doing something you love. You’ll also meet new people with common interests, feel good about yourself and improve your community.

In addition to the wonderful new skills you’ll gain as a volunteer, there are a variety of other benefits to being an active volunteer at Norfolk Botanical Garden, including:

  • Borrowing privileges in the Frederic Heutte Horticultural Library
  • Member rate for one adult education class per issuance of GROW Magazine (after 25 hours)
  • Volunteer appreciation events
  • 10% Discount in our Gift Shop