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Gardens need people to bring them to life, and people to nourish and pass them into future hands. Duke Gardens volunteers are that promise to the future. We cannot overstate the essential contribution volunteers make to the growth, purpose and beauty of the Gardens.

Expand your knowledge of the natural world and help each visitor find inspiration, enjoyment and a stronger connection to Duke Gardens. Volunteers bring their interests, energy, knowledge and passion to the Gardens, helping visitors by: 
•    offering information
•    guiding tours and leading education programs
•    maintaining gardens
•    promoting membership
•    enriching each visitor’s experience

How to join the volunteer family

As of August 2019, Duke Gardens is currently recruiting for the following volunteer opportunities:

Adult opportunities

Children’s docents – weekdays, spring-fall
Are you a nature lover who enjoys engaging with children? All you need is an interest in nature, a willingness to grow and learn, and a flexible, friendly attitude. Join an enthusiastic team of volunteers who are passionate about sharing their enthusiasm about nature and interacting with children outdoors in the Gardens.
Garden ambassadors - weekdays and weekends, spring-fall
Ambassadors greet and engage our visitors at stations throughout the Gardens. They help by giving directions and they share information about the Gardens’ collections and seasonal activities taking place at Duke Gardens.
Tour Docents – weekdays, spring-fall
Docents lead trolley and walking tours and enthusiastically interact with visitors, sharing knowledge of Duke Gardens' history, horticultural displays and features, and activities to enhance visitors' experiences.
If you are interested in any of the above positions, please submit a volunteer interest formPlease note that our gardening assistant positions in the area of  horticulture are currently filled. Check this page often, as our volunteer needs vary throughout the year.

Student Opportunities

(Students must be 16 or older to volunteer at Duke Gardens.)

Gift shop volunteers: Are you seeking service hours and looking to give back to your community? Student volunteer opportunities are available at Duke Gardens’ Terrace gift shop from August  through December 2019. These opportunities are limited to Friday afternoons and weekends. Please complete a student volunteer gift shop application (PDF).

Volunteer Requirements

Active volunteers:  Active volunteer positions require a commitment of generally two hours per week for a minimum of three months. As an active Duke Gardens volunteer, you are required to participate in Core Knowledge Training, with additional training required for specific program areas.
Special Event volunteers: For those who are unable to commit to a regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule, we do have variable year-round volunteer opportunities at our events that include a wide variety of needs, including event setup, assisting at plant sales, helping with children's activities, wayfinding, and much more.

Volunteer Benefits

•    Make a difference in your community and inspire others by supporting the mission of Duke Gardens 
•    Meet people with similar interests
•    Develop your skills in serving visitors or in educational outreach, membership, gardening or photography 
•    Enjoy volunteer events, lunch and learn programs and annual celebrations 
•    Earn a discount at Duke Gardens' Terrace Gift Shop
•    Have fun and challenge yourself

Questions about volunteering?

Please email us or call 919.668.3694. Thank you for your interest!

Volunteer check-in