Two Great Locations, One Organization

Love kids? Want to be an expert in your own garden space at Matthaei? We’re looking for volunteers to lead kids nature pop-up programs this summer as well as captains for specific garden spaces at the botanical gardens.

Read more about these exciting opportunities below. To apply for the Garden Captain positions, click here or contact volunteer coordinator Sharyn Falls Dennis: 734.647.8528; dsharyn@umich.edu.

Volunteer Garden Captains Wanted

Matthaei Botanical Gardens is recruiting volunteer Garden Captains to lead volunteer teams in the maintenance of our display gardens. The Garden Captain is an essential part of our horticulture team. This exciting leadership position will enable a volunteer to have a richer and more in-depth experience, broaden their skill set, and learn about the curation of four of our signature display gardens.

Supervisory experience, excellent communication and organizational skills are necessary, as is a willingness to work with U-M students, and the ability to manage schedules/calendars/email. The successful leader will be flexible with the occasional setbacks that come about when implementing a new system, and be able to adapt as the system evolves.

As a volunteer Garden Captain you will:

  • meet with staff each week to walk through their garden,
  • learn the week’s priorities and map out tasks.
  • schedule your team of volunteers and supervise the actual work in the garden.

This is a two year commitment with at least one three-hour shift a week during the growing season (April – October). Additional time requirements: weekly staff meeting (April – October), seasonal training (March), intern training (May), volunteer team meeting (April), plus administrative time to email volunteers and arrange schedule as needed.

Ready to apply?

The Gateway Garden at Matthaei features perennials and hundreds of New World annuals that bloom in vivid colors July through the first frost. It’s a favorite wedding garden and a popular space for visitors.

The earliest botanical garden at the University of Michigan was a medicinal garden. The medicinal garden at Matthaei Botanical Gardens celebrates this history and the connection between plants and human wellness.

Our herb knot garden is a modern interpretation of a 16th-century English Tudor garden style. It features plants used in Asian, Native American, and European cooking and healing traditions.

The perennial garden glows with exuberant, color-coordinated waves of bloom from plants appropriate for our region. It’s also a popular wedding spot at Matthaei.

The Gaffield Children’s Garden at Matthaei Botanical Gardens is a popular spot for kids and families.

Introducing children to nature at a young age can help create a love for the environment that lasts a lifetime.

Nature Play Pop-Up Team

Looking for a change? Spring through fall we host a Nature Play Pop-Up in the Gaffield Children’s Garden for community children. Open-ended play outside can lead to a relationship with nature, and that relationship can eventually lead to environmentalism! We are looking for volunteers to help run the program each week. With enough volunteers, we can extend this popular activity to two days a week, reaching even more children. Come join this group of creative volunteers and help us train up the next generation of environmental leaders. For more information and to apply contact volunteer coordinator Sharyn Falls Dennis: 734.647.8528; dsharyn@umich.edu.

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