Volunteer at Kansas City’s Botanical Garden
Volunteering at Powell Gardens is a great experience for individuals 16 years old and up. Our volunteers can use their unique skills in the gardens through leading children’s activities, assisting visitor services, and helping with special garden events.
We seek and accept applications for our volunteer program year round and schedule interviews with prospective volunteers to best match needs of the garden and expertise of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with us, and are 16 years of age or older, please review the volunteer positions described below and complete the online general application.
Our current volunteers use Galaxy Digital to sign-up for volunteer opportunities, as well as clock in and out as they work on Garden projects. Click the button below to access Galaxy Digital.
Individuals who volunteer at Powell Gardens receive great perks! Not only do volunteers to get spend time in a great environment, but all volunteers receive a pass for free general admission. For more information about volunteering at Powell Gardens, contact Cassie Stair, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 816-697-2600 x304.
Docents are a committed group of tour guides and school program instructors who facilitate learning, engage diverse audiences, and help school and adult tour groups discover the cultivated and natural landscapes in the Gardens.
Docents are primarily needed from March through November for tours and programs lasting 90 minutes and are expected to volunteer for 15 tours and/or school programs each year. A curricular framework is provided for docents leading school programs. Garden-related tour themes and outlines are provided to assist docents in planning and crafting drop-in tours. Docents are not expected nor required to be experts in gardening, horticulture, plant care, or botany but must possess these qualities: passion for learning, an appreciation for Powell Gardens, and an enthusiasm for helping others discover new aspects of the garden no matter the age, interest, or ability.
In 2020, two docent training sessions are offered. For more information regarding the requirements and expectations of a docent volunteer, please read the attached sheet here or contact Cassie Stair, Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com or 816-697-2600 x304.
Complete the online docent application today! (See form below.)
Volunteer Exchange Program
Apply now to learn about gardening or sharpen your skills while volunteering alongside a Powell Gardens’ horticulturist. At our Heartland Harvest Garden, our participants will learn about gardening from seed to harvest at their choice of a spring, summer, and/or fall session. Volunteers working in our Aquatics program will have a choice of a four week spring and/or summer session to learn about gardening with and caring for aquatic plants.
Once selected for a program, our volunteer coordinator will follow up with details on where to meet and what to bring.
Click through the opportunities below to learn more and apply.
This four week hands-on program is for anyone interested in working with and learning about aquatic plants. Any skill level is welcome! You will gain experience in dividing, potting, pruning, fertilizing and basic biology of aquatic plants. Volunteers will help create the 2020 aquatics display of the Marlese Lowe Gourley Island Garden and Fountain Garden.
In Spring (March 31–April 21), you will wake up our hardy aquatics from their winter dormancy. In Summer (June 2–June 23), you will prepare our showy tropicals for display and learn about related topics. Each session is limited to 3 volunteers. Participants should be able to lift water pots around 10–15 lbs and bring: pruners, water resistant gloves, work clothes/boots. Waders are provided.
Summer Session: June 2–June 23 | 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
June 2: Water pots / bog gardens
June 9: Tropical water lilies
June 16: Tropical marginals, fish care/habitats
June 23: Grooming water lilies, algae prevention, water garden critters
This six-week program is designed for individuals who can commit to working on various projects during the growing season in exchange for learning specific techniques and technical aspects of horticulture. A hands-on program, volunteer participants will have exposure to crop selection, garden design, planting practices, weekly maintenance, and harvesting seasonal crops in the Menu, Villandry, cut flower, mushroom, herb, and All-American Selections gardens located in the 12-acre Heartland Harvest Garden.
As a benefit to volunteering for a six-week session, participants will have the opportunity to take home produce fresh from the gardens.
Applicants are welcome to apply to participate in one or more six-week session. Approved applicants will be notified prior to the start date and given instructions on what to bring. Recommended items include work clothes, boots or closed toe shoes, gardening gloves, sunscreen, and a bottle of water. Gardening tools will be provided. Limit 12 people per session.
Heartland Harvest Volunteer Exchange Program Schedule:
Summer Session: Wednesdays, June 3 – July 8 | 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
June 3: Crop Selection (direct seeding carrots)
June 10: Food Safety (fresh fruits of HHG)
June 17: Garden Design (cut flowers)
June 24: GH Production (hyssop cuttings)
July 1: Garden Biology (fruit thinning)
July 8: Wellness and Recipe Sharing (pickles)
Fall Session: Wednesdays, August 26 – September 30 | 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
August 26: Crop Selection (fall and winter production)
September 2: Food Safety
September 9: Garden Biology (end of season recap and planting)
September 16: Native Plants and Benefits
September 23: Good Bugs, Bad Bugs
September 30: Wellness and Recipe Sharing (roasted vegetables)
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
Missouri Life Market Fair
Saturday, July 18 & Sunday, July 19
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
LOCATION: Powell Gardens
Join the best craftsman, brewers, distillers, artisans and winemakers Missouri has to offer at the second annual Best of Missouri Life Market Fair, planned in collaboration with Missouri Life Magazine. Peruse nearly 100 booths featuring clothing, decor, paintings, photography, sculpture and more and enjoy live entertainment while marveling at the spring show of daffodils and other early-bloomers in the Gardens. Food trucks and tastings available.
All volunteer shifts are 2-3 hours long and scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Interested volunteers should Contact Cassie Stair, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 816-697-2600 x304.