Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens!

Volunteers are the roots of our Gardens’ history and continue to be a fundamental part of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ operations, mission, and future. As a volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to learn and explore while sharing your talents. You’ll also engage with people of all ages from all over the world, helping to create meaningful opportunities for guests to connect with the natural world through CMBG. You’ll become an integral part of our family.

Join our dynamic community of volunteers today! Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (207) 633-8022 or email volunteers@mainegardens.org.
Learn more about the opportunities available throughout the season below and apply today.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are a variety of wonderful volunteer opportunities in many of our departments at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Whether you see yourself engaging with guests, helping in the gardens, assisting with children’s and adult activities and classes, or working behind the scenes, there are many volunteer opportunities for you to consider. All volunteers attend a yearly orientation where they learn about the current theme and exhibits, receive guest services training, and learn more about our history and mission. Please note that some volunteer opportunities listed below are only open certain times of year, or may already be filled for the season.

Volunteers in Guest Services

Ambassadors – If you like guiding and interacting with people of all ages, then being an ambassador may interest you. Our ambassadors are critical points of contact for our guests on their journey through our gardens. Ambassadors greet and engage our guests, offering information about daily happenings, our history, and seasonal events taking place at the Gardens.

Troll Ambassadors – This position is in response is to the tremendously popular exhibit at the Gardens, the Guardians of the Seeds. While the exhibit includes five giant trolls stationed throughout the Gardens, this volunteer has a choice of being a stationary or a roving ambassador. Ambassadors are a critical point of contact, answering questions and managing pedestrian flow at the exhibit. Learn about Danish artist Thomas Dambo, his art, how to see his work at the Gardens, and then share it with visitors. Classroom, in-person training, and mentoring will be provided.

Docents – If you like learning and love sharing that knowledge, then you may be interested in becoming a docent. Our docents interact with guests, one-on-one or in small groups, sharing general knowledge of our gardens and history, and in-depth knowledge of seasonal displays, exhibits, and the interpretive theme. Docents also interact with guests as they come through our Native Moth and Butterfly House, or they may lead small groups of guests on highlights or specialty tours of our gardens. Docents are encouraged to participate in the many continuing education opportunities during the season to further enrich their own knowledge.

Shuttle Drivers – If you enjoy driving and interacting with people, then you may be interested in being a shuttle driver. Shuttle drivers assist guests by giving them a ride to the outer gardens in the courtesy shuttle, while answering questions and offering information. They are expected to provide a welcoming, safe and knowledgeable shuttle experience. To be considered for a shuttle driver shift, volunteers must pass a driving test.

Volunteers in Horticulture

Gardens Grounds Work – If you are interested in a physically active volunteer role and getting your hands in CMBG soil, then you may be interested in volunteering with our horticulture team. Thanks to our expanded garden spaces, the horticulture team welcomes the talented helping hands of volunteers now more than ever before, whether you be a novice or master gardener. Volunteer tasks include mulching, removing weeds, removing spring bulbs, planting annuals, deadheading, thinning, dividing, pruning, and harvesting. Share in the wonder of a garden throughout its seasons, including the feeling of accomplishment of a garden put to bed. Work with the staff and enjoy learning from one another.

Volunteers in Education

Children’s Garden – If you are interested in working with families or helping guests of all ages discover the magic in Maine’s finest children’s garden, then you may be interested in working as a volunteer in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden. Volunteers thoroughly enjoy their time in the Children’s Garden, where there’s so much for guests to see and discover. Volunteers assist with activities, answer guests’ questions, and help with the daily upkeep of the garden.

Butterfly House – The Butterfly House Docents will spend their shift answering questions and engaging guests in the wonders of the Butterfly House. If you want to learn more about our native butterflies, moths, and caterpillars and share what you learn with visitors, this is a great job for you. Training and hands-on mentoring and shadowing will be provided.

Learning Apiary – The Learning Apiary Docents will spend their shift answering questions and engaging guests in the wonders of the Learning Apiary. If you want to learn more about our honey bees and beekeeping and share what you learn with visitors, this is a great job for you. Training and mentoring will be provided.

Discovery Cart – Volunteers will surprise and delight guests with this engaging hands-on cart stationed in the Lerner Garden Pavilion. Training will be provided. With the placement of this cart, this volunteer will also get many “commonly asked questions” about the Gardens.

Youth Education Stewards – If you are between the ages of 11-18 and are interested in volunteering in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden, then our Youth Education Steward Program is for you. Youth Education Stewards (Y.E.S.) implement daily educational activities, read stories, complete daily chores, answer questions, and encourage and inspire both kids and adults alike to play, laugh, and discover in an enchanting garden setting. For more information, and to apply, read more on our Y.E.S page.

Additional Opportunities to Volunteer

Maine Bird Atlas – Calling all birders! These once-weekly volunteers will represent CMBG in the Maine Bird Atlas citizen science project, helping scientists develop a comprehensive understanding of bird diversity and distribution in the state. Volunteers will visit the Gardens to observe the breeding birds in our part of Maine and record them using eBird. Birding for this project will require an extended stop-and-observe approach to correctly identify birds and ensure they are breeding here rather than passing through. Volunteers, working individually or in pairs, will learn how to record and submit data. There will be one-on-one training for new volunteers.

Signs of the Season – These volunteers will participate in the Signs of the Seasons (SOS) citizen science project, helping scientists document the local effects of global climate change. Visit the Gardens once weekly to observe and record the phenology (seasonal changes) of strawberry, low-bush blueberry, white pine, blueberry, pink lady’s slipper, or red maple.