San Francisco Botanical Garden About San Francisco Botanical Garden
SFBG

 

Group Volunteering

San Francisco Botanical Garden has a rich history of volunteer engagement. With 55 acres maintained by 11 gardeners, volunteers provide an invaluable source of support.

In addition to individuals, we welcome volunteer groups -- corporate, school, community or otherwise. Volunteers work with professional San Francisco Recreation & Parks gardeners to maintain the Garden, with projects including planting, weeding, mulching and more.

"We're very excited to support San Francisco Botanical Garden as a Corporate Member. Our employees always look forward to our annual volunteer event, when we get our hands dirty working in the Garden, and return to the office refreshed and inspired." — Wendy Fukamaki, PG & E

"Thank you for allowing BPM to volunteer at the Botanical Garden. It was a great workout for office folks like us!" — Nhi Dao, Burr Pilger Myer

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of projects do volunteer groups assist with?

There are two primary ways volunteer groups support the Garden.

  • Collections Maintenance. Volunteers support general maintenance activities in the Garden by working alongside San Francisco Recreation & Parks horticulturalists to tend a diverse collection of plants. Activities include weeding, mulching, creating/cleaning pathways, an occasional other projects such as pruning, planting, or propagation.
  • Special Events. The Garden hosts several large events each year which rely on volunteer groups for support.

    • Annual Plant Sale. The first week of May, volunteers transport plants and assist with general set up and breakdown for this two day event.
    • Flower Piano. For 12 days in July, 12 pianos are placed in the Garden for community member to play and enjoy. Volunteers greet and orient visitors, monitor sensitive collections, collect survey data, and assist with set up and breakdown activities.
    • Others events may be scheduled which groups are invited to support; please send an inquiry if you have an interest in helping with a specific event or time of year.

How many people can participate?

We welcome groups as small as 5 people, and up to 60 people. For most projects, teams will be divided into subgroups of 10–15 people.

What are the scheduling/cost/age requirements?

Projects start between 9 and 10am, and finish by lunch, ideally lasting 3-3 and a half hours. Projects can be physically demanding- we strongly recommend half day events.

There is a sliding scale fee of $10-$30 per volunteer. A deposit of 50% is requested for groups of 30 or more.

Volunteer projects are designed for adults; children 10-16 may volunteer if accompanied by an adult. Children under 10 are welcome to attend, but arrangements should be made for adult supervision while the project is taking place.

Is there anything we should do to prepare?

Volunteers must wear long pants and sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Bring a water bottle, hat, layers, and anything you need to be comfortable working outside. We provide gloves, tools, and granola bars.

Do you provide catering?

There are several local catering options which we can recommend if you'd like to provide breakfast or lunch for your team. Please let us know if you plan to serve food and we can help coordinate drop-off and trash removal.

The Redwood Grove has benches and can accommodate 40-50 people, but otherwise the Garden does not have areas designated for large group picnicking. To rent a picnic space in Golden Gate park,
click here

Why is there a fee to volunteer?

The participant fee for volunteer projects is tax-deductible and helps cover the cost of materials, purchase and maintenance of tools, training, and project management. In addition to improving the collections, volunteers (corporate groups and otherwise) are key to the Society's mission of building communities of support for the Botanical Garden, so we hope this can be part of your motivation for making an impact.

For companies who would like to support the Garden at a more significant level, you can review membership and sponsorship opportunities with our
Corporate Engagement program.

For special events or groups with limited financial capacity, the fee may be waived. Please contact us directly to make this request.

Let's do it! How can we request a date?

Click the button below!

Who do I talk to if I have more questions?

For questions about arranging a volunteer project, contact:
Chloe Wieland
Volunteer Services Manager
cwieland@sfbg.org
415-661-1316 x 400

For questions about corporate engagement opportunities, contact:
Marissa Angulo
Special Events Officer
mangulo@sfbg.org
415-661-1316 x 301

SFBGS and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department San Francisco Botanical Garden's beauty and value as a major cultural resource are the result of a successful public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

ADMISSION  FREE for Members, SF Residents (with proof of residency) & School Groups | $9 Non-residents | Discounts for Seniors, Families & Children

LOCATED In Golden Gate Park, with entrances at the corner of Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way (Main Gate) & at MLK Jr. Drive off the Music Concourse (Friend/North Gate) | Phone: (415) 661-1316 | Mail: 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122-2370

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