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Garden Docent

Title: Garden Docent
Employment Status: Volunteer
Time Commitment: Four regularly scheduled four-hour shifts per month equating to approximately 95 service hours annually.  

Primary Functions:

Garden Docents serve several important roles:

  • Conducting Garden tours
  • Serving on-station in the Gardens
  • Assisting 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 Acoustiguide use. 


  • Submit a monthly availability email to the Volunteer Manager in a timely fashion to facilitate the preparation of the monthly Interpretation Volunteer Schedule.
  • Attend regular volunteer continuing education sessions and any scheduled mandatory volunteer training sessions.
  • Participate in periodic reviews.
  • Honor the time commitment requested of docents.

Organizational Relationships:

  • Reports to Interpretation Volunteer Manager
  • Collaborates with Interpretation and Horticulture staff and management.
  • Interacts with visitors and staff


  • Interested in the horticulture and decorative arts.
  • Interested in teaching and/or curriculum delivery.
  • Experience in customer service. 


  • Fluency in foreign languages is greatly appreciated.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the spirit of Hillwood’s mission, vision, and interpretive messages and to keep them at the forefront of all endeavors.
  • A dynamic and engaging teaching presence.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Computer access skills are essential. 
  • Work well with a diverse group of colleagues and an international clientele. 
  • Enthusiasm for working with the public.
  • Detail oriented.

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, expect 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 send your completed docent application to: noting “Garden Docent Application” in the subject line.