Join Us

Join a dynamic team that is helping the Botanical Garden become one of the most beautiful attractions in Iowa! Volunteers are essential to our success and help carry out our mission by giving over 14,000 hours of service annually. Volunteers are involved in every area within the organization — share your enthusiasm for the natural world by connecting with guests, nurturing plants, educating or supporting events and activities.

Current Volunteer Login

Botanical Garden Volunteer Vision: The volunteer experience at the Botanical Garden is engaging, collaborative and mutually beneficial to volunteers and staff. The skills and dedication of volunteers enhances the work of the staff providing a team effort to advance the goals and mission of the organization. All involved share a passion for plants which provides the inspiration to create experiences that educate and inspire our guests and the greater Des Moines community.

Explore current openings to find volunteer roles that connect with your interests, skills and availability. If there is a potential fit, please fill out the appropriate volunteer application. Our needs change regularly so if you don’t see anything now, check back to view new opportunities.

In an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, only the outdoor gardens are open and we are using limited volunteer support at this time. Volunteer applications continue to be accepted and will be responded to by email.  Thank you for your interest! We look forward to your involvement when we return to our full offering of activities.

Volunteer Opportunities

These are some of the volunteer roles typically needing support.

(click on links to review position descriptions, applications available below)

  • On-Going Openings

    • Education
    • Guest Services
    • Horticulture
      • Outdoor Openings: April through October.
        • Garden Maintenance which may include weeding, deadheading, planting, working with other volunteers and staff. For descriptions of garden spaces click here.
          • Lauridsen Savanna, Tuesday mornings
          • hillside garden, Friday mornings
          • water garden, Wednesday mornings
          • Ruan Allee, Wednesday mornings
          • Rutledge Conifer and Gravel Garden, Wednesday mornings
          • parking lot gardens, Thursday mornings
          • Koehn Garden, Friday mornings
      •  Volunteer Curator – Phenology
      • Nursery Assistant: Provide general maintenance of the nursery. This may include watering, weeding pots as well as general grounds, up-potting and organizing as needed. Morning or afternoon shifts available, M-F.

Volunteer Application

  • For those interested in an ongoing commitment, short-term or one-time volunteer opportunity
  • Ongoing activities include education, guest services, horticulture and administrative support
  • One-time activities include Spring Garden Festival, winter and spring break family programs or various horticulture or facility projects
  • Ages 14 to adult
  • The Botanical Garden is not accepting applications for court-appointed community service at this time

Group Volunteer Application

  • Primary activities include Spring Garden Festival, winter and spring break family programs or various horticulture or facility projects as available
  • Group projects are typically available for up to 10 people
  • For larger groups, please contact the volunteer coordinator
Even if you’re not a gardener, this is a great place to volunteer. It’s a good way to meet people, especially if you’re new to the area. It’ll make you feel a part of Des Moines.
Wes Hunsberger, Botanical Garden Volunteer
Please contact Susan Cory, volunteer coordinator at scory@dmbotanicalgarden.com or 515.323.6293 with any questions.