Three volunteers pose wearing waders in front of a grassy hill
Man holding a plant and a shovel

Volunteering at the State Arboretum

Volunteers are our most important resource here at the State Arboretum. See the descriptions on this page for some of our regular volunteer opportunities. If you have any questions about becoming a volunteer, contact our administrative specialist Sue at [email protected]


When you're ready to join our team of enthusiastic volunteers, click the link below to sign up!

Sign Up to Volunteer!


Plant Care

The State Arboretum of Virginia at Blandy Experimental Farm has many established perennial gardens, an herb garden, and a Native Plant Trail. Each area is maintained on a seasonal basis by an assistant curator and supporting volunteers. Tasks include planting, dividing, transplanting, fertilizing, weeding, mulching and more.

Herb Garden – Every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., meet in the Herb Garden across from the main parking lot

Native Plant Trail – Every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., meet at the entrance of the Native Plant Trail, below the Iris Garden

Perennial Gardens – Every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., meet at the Information Kiosk in the main parking lot

Community Garden – Volunteer days and times are flexible. 

Woody Collections Maintenance 
These work sessions are scheduled on a regular basis in the winter months and at other times as necessary. Maintenance activities include removal of invasive plant species, pruning and mulching of specimens, and labeling. Please bring gloves; tools and training will be provided.


Library Aide

Assist with a variety of Library duties to include:

- Shelving.
- Filing library materials.
- Keeping records on items of circulation.
- Helping to inventory and catalog special collections such as slides and photographs.
- Organizing newsletter files.

Qualifications: interest in periodicals, books and horticulture and the ability to maneuver and climb movable stairs. Time commitment will require 2 to 4 hours each week or two, to average at least 4 hours every 2 weeks. Time will be scheduled around events, programs and meetings held in the library.


Program Assistant

Blandy and the State Arboretum of Virginia offers a wide array of public programs throughout the year. For most programs one or more volunteers are needed to assist with the many tasks associated with these programs. Program assistant responsibilities vary depending on the type of program. Benefits: Can attend programs at no charge. The program assistant may be asked to:

- Arrive early to help set up.
- Make coffee or prepare refreshments.
- Check with program presenter to determine whether he/she needs assistance before, during or after program.
- Use registration list to check in participants and collect registration fees if applicable. 
- Hand out literature, information packets or other materials.
- Assist with cleanup and other tasks after program.
- Lead tours.


Youth Education Assistant 

Blandy offers a wide variety of educational programs to students in grades pre-K through high school. Volunteers will work with a program presenter, helping to prepare and assist in leading activities. There are indoor and outdoor activities. Time commitment usually involves 3 to 4 hours at a time, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. A willingness to work with children is required. A background and/or education in Virginia’s natural environment is beneficial.


Special Events

Special Events Volunteers help with pre-event planning, set up, event day activities and cleanup. The State Arboretum relies greatly on its volunteers, especially during the larger, annual events (Garden Fair and Nature Nurtures). As a special events volunteer, you will be called upon to work at least a 3-hour shift for both of these events in one of the following areas: set up, vendor check-in, gatekeepers, wagon control, membership, children’s activities, volunteer meals, and plant sales. If you are interested in the actual planning of events, please talk to the Volunteer Coordinator.


Bridle Trail

Volunteers clear new trails, install signage and maintain trails as needed. They may serve as trail guides for FOSA sponsored rides. Members also prepare mailings for other horse related activities and then act as host/hostess and registrar for these events.


Holiday Workshops

Wreath-making workshops are held the first weekend in December.  Volunteers help during workshops answering questions and providing hands-on help with wreath and bow-making.


Event Site Prep

Volunteers set up tents, tables and chairs, post signage and lay out vendor exhibitor booths for special events, public programs, outdoor lectures, etc. Volunteers also help with takedown after the events.


Other Volunteer Links

Covid Precautions for Volunteers

Record Your Hours