Help keep our Arboretum and Public Garden spaces open

Resolve to get outside, make a difference

Image of Stacey Parker, GATEways Horticulturist with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, providing instruction to gardening volunteers.
Stacey Parker, GATEways horticulturist with the UCD Arboretum and Public Garden, trains a new group of volunteers on proper perennial plant maintenance. New gardening volunteers receive in-depth training related to maintaining environmentally appropriate landscapes.

The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is looking for volunteers! This could be your chance to not only work with nature, give back to the community and connect with new people, but also receive expert instruction and an opportunity to be involved hands-on projects that improve the local and regional environment.

“Our volunteers are vital to this place and our organization,” said Kathleen Socolofsky, assistant vice chancellor and director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

“We depend on them to keep this the fabulous regional resource it is today, so we invest in them with high-quality training while prioritizing the creation of a congenial, supportive atmosphere. We cultivate community, friendships and gorgeous gardens!”

At the beginning of every year the UCD Arboretum and Public Garden accepts a cohort of new volunteers, many of whom participate in weeks of education depending on which position they fulfill. As an example, over six weeks, gardening volunteers learn about many topics including garden safety, tool use, plant and weed identification, and perennial and ornamental grass maintenance. Not every position though requires an in-depth training or a weekly commitment.

This year UCD is recruiting new gardening, land stewardship and plant sale volunteers. The gardening and land stewardship positions are weekly commitments, while the plant sale volunteers’ commitment is only during seasonal plant sales held approximately seven times a year.

Here are overviews for the currently open volunteer positions:

Gardening volunteers maintain and beautify the arboretum collections, each with their own focus, that meet weekly for three hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday mornings. This position involves weeding, shoveling, planting, pruning, and lifting up to thirty pounds and is perfect for those who already have basic love for plants and want to learn more.

Land stewardship volunteers assist with maintaining the naturalized lands at UCD’s Putah Creek Riparian Reserve. Volunteers meet every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning. This position is perfect for those that enjoy light construction and working with a variety of power tools to repair trails, care for native plants and control weeds.

Plant sale volunteers provide customer service, check out assistance and more at Friends of UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden big plant sale fundraisers, approximately four in spring and three in fall, on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Instead of meeting weekly, these volunteers only meet as necessary prior to each plant sale.

You have probably walked in the Arboretum or Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, showing it off to out-of-town guests, but you may not know that those paths you walk and those plants you enjoy are taken care of by talented teams of trained community volunteers,” said Ann Daniel, president of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

“We now have over 250 volunteers each week working side-by-side with staff to care for the gardens and collections, grow regionally appropriate plants for the public, maintain our scientific plant records and more.”

Though these positions focus on different aspects of the Arboretum and Public Garden, all benefit from the rewarding environment this university organization provides. Applications for all these positions are due by January 17th. If you are interested, please visit the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens website to learn more and apply online.

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