Volunteers are the heart of the Selby Gardens and play a vital role in our mission of research, conservation, and horticultural display. Outnumbering staff by more than 15 to 1, volunteers add the equivalent of more than 20 full-time workers to the Selby workforce each year. They continually tell us that they get back much more than they give: new friends, new interests, and opportunities to learn and grow in some of Sarasota’s most beautiful surroundings.
- Training and special educational opportunities
- Invitations to Selby Gardens Volunteer events including the Annual Volunteer Recognition, lectures, an annual potluck luncheon, and more
- 10% discount at The Selby House Cafe and Garden Shop
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Typical Volunteer Positions
Mansion Docent: Volunteers will share their knowledge of art, various exhibitions, and history of Payne house with visitors to the Mansion.
Tour and Display House Guides: Tour guides and Display House guides share knowledge about the Gardens, the Selby Gardens’ legacy, and horticultural displays.
Welcome Center: Volunteers will welcome guests and provide campus maps, as well as provide detailed campus information.
Ask Me Cart Guide: Volunteers will spend time outdoors providing information about the gardens and answering visitor questions.
School Group Guide: Guide groups through the Gardens and Display House and assist with special programs formulated for groups from schools.
Data Entry: Data entry assistants add important information to the Gardens’ records about its plants, assist with upkeep of our member records, our plant care database, and more.
Display Plants Inventory Assistants: Volunteers will be responsible for helping updating records on display plants’ locations throughout the Gardens.
Kids Corner Volunteers and Children’s Rainforest Garden Teen Volunteers: Volunteers will help young visitors find books and puzzles, read stories, look through microscopes, and more.
Walk & Talk Guides: Volunteers will perform half-hour mini-tours throughout the Gardens.
Research Assistant: Volunteers will assist with a variety of projects in research and conservation.
Horticulture Assistant: Volunteers will assist Horticulture team who is responsible for the care of our plant collection and grounds.
Special Events Volunteers: Volunteers will guide visitors, answer questions, assist with production and much more during Special Events.
Teen Camp Counselor: Camp counselors will be engaged for four weeks for preparation, camp itself, and break down. Counselors should have camp experience, enjoy children, be self-directed, and enjoy nature.
Interested in Volunteering?
Thanks for your interest! Volunteers must attend a Volunteer Orientation before you can begin at the Gardens for any position. Orientations take place three times a year (January, May, and October). When you attend, you’ll hear firsthand from the heads of Selby Gardens’ Botany, Education, and Horticulture departments to learn about all the volunteer positions available. You will also be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Gardens’ facilities.
After orientation, if you would like to join our organization, you will have a one-on-one interview to determine your skills and interests and to find the perfect volunteer spot for you.
Upcoming Orientations and Activities
Check back for future volunteer training opportunities.