Volunteer

Volunteer Gardeners

Join us in caring for this extraordinary collection of plants. Volunteer gardeners work alongside the garden staff to maintain the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. Volunteers participate in a variety of activities including pruning, raking, weeding, watering, planting and propagating. Prior gardening experience is encouraged but not a requirement, volunteers will be trained for each of these activities.  Volunteer gardeners are encouraged to expand their horticultural and botanical knowledge through hands on training with staff as well as by attending lectures and events at the Garden. Gardening is therapeutic and offers both mental and physical health benefits. Get to know plants, make new friends, support the Garden, get some exercise, and enjoy this peaceful place.

A minimum commitment of three hours per week is required. You must be 18 years of age or older to volunteer. We work outdoors and recommend wearing close-toed shoes, a hat, and sunblock. The Botanical Garden is not able to provide courtesy parking to volunteers at this time.

We have restarted this program and have made some changes in response to COVID-19.  We are accepting new volunteers, but please note that some of these times may be full as we have limited capacity to safely host volunteers and practice physical distancing.

Current volunteer times are:

  • Tuesdays   8:30am – 11:30am or 1:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Wednesdays   8:30am – 11:30am or 1:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Thursdays   9:30am – 11:30am or 1:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Saturdays   10:30am – 1:00pm
  • Sundays   10:30am – 1:00pm

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer gardener please:

  1. Fill out the Volunteer Gardener Application.
  2. We will follow-up with you via the email you submit your form with. If we have a time slot available, we will send additional HR paperwork and plan a start date for an orientation with you. Thank you for your patience!

Volunteer Educators

The UCLA Botanical Garden is an incredible 7.5 acre living museum, containing plants from all over the world! Come learn to interpret this natural wonder for visitors. As a volunteers educator, you will lead tours through the garden for a variety of audiences from 1st-12th grade students, UCLA groups, and visiting adults.

In preparation for this, educators participate in a training where they learn about general botany and the unique plants found within the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. You will shadow experienced educators prior to leading your own tours. Training time will be a combination of short lectures, garden walks, educational strategy practice, and development of a personalized tour that you can confidently deliver to students and adults.

Benefits: In addition to sharing the wonders of the plant kingdom with the public, docents are encouraged and offered opportunities to continue their own botanical learning, through group field trips, lectures and special events. This is a great opportunity to deepen your botanical knowledge, meet new friends, support the educational mission of the Garden, and to strengthen your public speaking skills.

To learn about upcoming trainings, please email Jules at julesc@ucla.edu to be added to the interest list. 

» Support the Education Program

Volunteer Herbarium Technicians

Are you interested in learning about plants and exploring our collection of dried, pressed specimens? Volunteer to support a National Science Foundation project by imaging and digitizing the UCLA Herbarium collection. Must have some computer experience.

To learn more, contact Herbarium Manager Dr. Tom Huggins: huggins@ucla.edu

The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a promoter of nature at a California land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.



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