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Garden Docent

Title: Garden Docent 

Employment Status: Volunteer

Time Commitment: 
A minimum of two regularly scheduled four-hour shifts per month equating to approximately 50 to 92 service hours annually

Typical shifts are 10 am – 2 pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays

Primary Functions: 
Garden docents serve several important roles:

  • Conduct garden tours
  • Serve on-station in the gardens
  • Assist with public programming and special events
  • Assure a positive, enjoyable visitor experience

Key Job Elements:
Garden docents conduct regularly scheduled garden tours throughout the spring and fall seasons (April through June and September through November equating to approximately 22 weeks annually). They also conduct specially scheduled VIP, focus, and/or group tours in the gardens.

On-Station Service:
Occasionally, garden docents serve on-station in the gardens, where they provide directions to visitors, answer specific questions about the gardens and plants/objects in the collection, and explain audio tour use. 


  • Submits monthly availability via Volgistics, the online scheduling software
  • Attends regular volunteer continuing education sessions and any scheduled mandatory volunteer training sessions
  • Participates in periodic reviews
  • Honors the time commitment requested of docents

Organizational Relationships:

  • Reports to Volunteer Supervisor
  • Collaborates with Interpretation and Horticulture staff and management
  • Interacts with staff, fellow volunteers and visitors of all ages


  • Interested in horticulture and decorative arts
  • Interested in teaching and/or curriculum delivery
  • Experience in customer service
  • Fluency in foreign languages is greatly appreciated

Skills and Abilities:

  • A warm, empathetic, and enthusiastic communicator
  • A friendly and engaging teaching presence 
  • Flexibility, patience, and a positive outlook
  • Commitment to, enthusiasm for, and comfort with conversing with a diverse range of people
  • Detail oriented
  • Able to meet the yearly time commitment
  • Timely and responsive in correspondence via email and phone
  • Basic comfort level with and regular use of email and computers
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the spirit of Hillwood’s mission, vision, and interpretive messages and keeps them at the forefront of all endeavors.

Work Environment:
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a docent encounters while performing the essential functions of the volunteer role. While volunteering a docent is regularly required to communicate professionally in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means, stand for extended periods of time outside (rain or shine, except during severe weather conditions), ascend/descend stairs, move about their volunteer area, between buildings, and the campus grounds, and visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.   

The preceding volunteer description has been designed to indicate the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by a garden docent. It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of volunteers to do this role.

To apply:
We are a progressive, equal opportunity organization and all interested parties are encouraged to apply. So, volunteer “Where Fabulous Lives!”. For prompt consideration, please complete this online application.