Gardens need people to bring them to life! Volunteers are an essential part of the growth, purpose and beauty of the 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

We welcome you to expand your knowledge of the natural world and help each visitor find inspiration, enjoyment and a stronger connection to Duke Gardens. 


Duke Gardens is seeking volunteers who are interested in long term/ongoing volunteer opportunities, which generally require a commitment of two hours a week for a minimum of three months.


In fall 2022, Duke Gardens will host volunteer information sessions for prospective adult volunteers. To learn more about our volunteer program, including requirements and available opportunities in the coming year (see opportunity descriptions below), we ask that you attend one volunteer information session.

Fall 2022 Volunteer Information Sessions
·       Sat., Aug. 20, 10:30-11:30 a.m. – on site - FULL
·       Tues., Aug. 23, 1:30-2:30 p.m. – virtual
·       Wed., Aug. 31,  10:30-11:30 a.m. – on site 

To attend one of these sessions, please email your name, phone number and which session you would like to attend to GardensVolunteer@duke.edu. You will receive an email response to confirm your preferred session date and provide additional information.

If you are unable to attend any of these sessions, our next volunteer info sessions will be held in February 2023. Please check back closer to that date to register for a session then. Thank you for your interest in volunteering! 

ADULT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES (anticipated for fall 2022)


Garden Guides for children’s programs: 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 a dynamic team of children’s garden guides who are passionate about sharing their enthusiasm about nature and interacting with children outdoors in the Gardens. 

Weekend Enrich Your Visit educators: occasional Saturdays, spring-fall 
Are you interested in facilitating learning about the natural world with learners of all ages, and available on a few Saturdays from spring through fall? Weekend educators share information with visitors in hands-on activities and experiments and give prompts for observation on a range of topics that relate the Gardens to visitors’ lives.


Outdoor garden ambassadors: weekdays and weekends, mornings and afternoons, spring-fall
Enjoy meeting and engaging with people while outdoors? Ambassadors greet and offer directions to our visitors at stations throughout the Gardens. In addition to sharing information about the Gardens’ collections, ambassadors encourage exploration of the Gardens in their station areas, and they discuss seasonal activities taking place at Duke Gardens.

Info desk ambassadors: weekdays, mornings and afternoons, year-round
Want to help people from all over the world and make their Gardens experience more satisfying? If so, you will enjoy being an ambassador indoors at our Doris Duke Center and assisting visitors in person and on the phone by helping them with wayfinding in the Gardens and directing them to Gardens highlights in our collections. 

Tour docents: weekdays, mornings and afternoons, spring-fall
Do you possess the gift of gab and take pleasure in sharing knowledge with others? Tour docents lead trolley and walking tours and enthusiastically interact with visitors to explore the Gardens, teach about our horticultural displays and features, and promote conversation to enhance visitors' experiences.


Gardening assistants: weekday mornings (Tues.-Fri.), year-round (weather permitting)
Love getting in the dirt and doing garden work?  Gardening assistants support our horticulture staff to maintain the beauty of the Gardens by primarily weeding, watering and mulching, with occasional planting and more. Gardening tasks require physical exertion, including bending, kneeling, stretching and reaching, as well as tolerance for varying weather conditions and insects outdoors. Gardening assistants are assigned to a particular garden area and must be able to work both independently and on a team.


Membership & development assistants: weekdays and weekends, mornings and afternoons, year-round
Do you appreciate Duke Gardens and understand the many benefits that it provides in our community and for its members? Membership and development volunteers assist in a wide array of tasks, both indoors and outdoors, from helping with mailings and clerical work, to promoting Gardens membership and welcoming members at special events and functions. These volunteers enjoy growing our membership base and developing a relationship between the Gardens and Duke University. 


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


Are you seeking service hours and looking to give back to your community? Student volunteer opportunities are available at Duke Gardens’ Terrace Shop now through December 2022. These opportunities are limited to Friday afternoons and weekends. Please email GardensVolunteer@duke.edu to request a gift shop student volunteer application.


Please email us at GardensVolunteer@duke.edu or call us at 919.668.3694. Thank you for your interest!


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