Posts tagged ‘volunteers’

Volunteer with Smithsonian Gardens in the new exhibition “Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty”

Orchid exhibit logo

In January 2015, Smithsonian Gardens, the U.S. Botanical Garden, and the National Museum of Natural History will open a new temporary exhibit, Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty. This three-month exhibition (January 24-April 26, 2015) will feature thousands of live orchids and offer visitors the opportunity to explore how new ideas, technologies, and inventions change the way we study, protect, and enjoy these beautiful plants.

Volunteer orchid interpreters will have the opportunity to engage the public in this beautiful exhibition space and help visitors understand how each new innovation, like a puzzle piece, fills in gaps in our knowledge and creates a larger and more complex picture of orchids. As a volunteer, you will be trained to answer questions, provide additional information, and offer visitors short, hands-on activities to encourage them to think more deeply about how we study, protect, and enjoy orchids. You will also have the opportunity to assist with public programs and special events related to the exhibition.

Phalaenopsis Merlot Mist 'Cascade' orchid

Phalaenopsis Merlot Mist ‘Cascade’

Volunteer Position Duration: November 17, 2014 – April 26, 2015 (including training)

Training: Four training sessions beginning in November. Training sessions will include sessions on museum learning, visitor engagement, and exhibit content. Each session will be led by Smithsonian Gardens’ museum educators and orchid experts.

Qualifications: Volunteers should have an interest in orchids (though prior knowledge is not necessary) and in be comfortable working with diverse audiences. Good communication skills are a must. Experience teaching or delivering interpretive tours/programs is a bonus.

Interested in volunteering or want more information? Contact us at or apply online at


September 29, 2014 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Volunteers Help Make Smithsonian Gardens Shine

We think our Smithsonian Gardens volunteers are awesome! From helping out in the Archives of American Gardens and greenhouses to volunteering as interpreters in our exhibits and gardens, volunteers help sustain some of our most important projects and serve as terrific ambassadors to our visitors.

 This winter, over forty volunteers signed up to share their enthusiasm for orchids with visitors to our Orchids of Latin America exhibit. Their knowledge, love for all things orchid, and great people skills mean that those who come to see the exhibit have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the beautiful plants on display. If you have yet to visit the exhibit, make some time to stop by the National Museum of Natural History’s special exhibition gallery to see the beautiful display and say “hi” to the volunteers working there.

Potting orchids at Orchid Family Day 2013

Orchid Family Day 2013. Francisco Guerra, photographer.

Although the orchid exhibit ends April 21st, many of our volunteer interpreters are staying on with Smithsonian Gardens to interact with the public in the gardens this spring through fall. If you are interested in meeting great people and sharing your love of plants with visitorsfrom around the world, think about joining us out in the gardens. We are always excited to welcome new volunteers and interpreters to our team! For more information or to volunteer, visit the web or send us an email.

-Alison Kootstra, Education & Outreach Intern

April 23, 2013 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Thank You to all of our Smithsonian Gardens’ Volunteers!

Volunteer garden interpreters Susan and Peggy talk with the public in the Haupt Garden.

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to pause for a moment to thank our awesome volunteers for all they do. Volunteers work alongside Smithsonian Gardens’ staff to help plant, care for and display the plants in our gardens. They also interact with the public in our gardens, help prepare educational materials, and work with our archival collections. Last but not least, volunteers have special access to our garden programs, special events, and the chance to meet fellow garden lovers.

This fall we wrapped up another successful season of garden tours and programs. Volunteer interpreters in our gardens this past spring, summer and early fall donned their Smithsonian Gardens’ shirts and headed out to our Haupt and Butterfly Gardens. They interacted with visitors of all ages and interests through storytelling and hands-on activities as well as by fielding all sorts of questions about our gardens.

In the Smithsonian Gardens’ greenhouses, volunteers played an important role this past year in propagating annuals and caring for our award-winning orchid collection, tropical plants and perennials. Outside they assisted with planting bulbs and annuals and maintaining our garden landscapes. Their work helped make our gardens an oasis for our visitors year-round.

Volunteer Laurel helps care for plants at the Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouses.

This winter, many of our Smithsonian Gardens’ volunteers will escape the cold by staffing our upcoming orchid exhibit in the National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit will focus on the importance of orchids to Latin American cultures and traditions. Volunteers will interact with exhibit visitors, answer questions, and encourage people to think about the important roles that plants play in their lives.

All of our Smithsonian Gardens’ volunteers contribute to the excellence of our gardens and programs. We could not do it without them!

If you are interested in volunteering with Smithsonian Gardens, visit our SG volunteer page at

December 27, 2012 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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