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We are almost always looking for energetic, dedicated people to lend a hand in our gardens and programs. If you are someone who enjoys sharing your passion for plants with people or someone who just likes to get your hands dirty – we probably have a volunteer opportunity for you! Some of our opportunities have a minimum time commitment, but many of our volunteer positions are pretty flexible and accessible by a variety of busy adults.

 
Age Requirement

We do not have a youth volunteer program or opportunities to complete school service hours at this time. All individual volunteers and members of volunteer groups must be 18 years of age or older.
 
Application Process

Garfield Park Conservatory is a Chicago Park District facility, so all volunteers must go through the CPD application process, which includes fingerprinting. For more detailed information about our volunteer program and an application, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator:

  

Mattie Wilson
Volunteer Program Coordinator
mwilson@garfieldpark.org
(773)638-1766 x26

  

Five Steps to Becoming a Garfield Park Conservatory Volunteer

 

 

Contact us for more information and a volunteer application.

 
 

Submit your volunteer application to our Conservatory Volunteer Coordinator.

 
 

Attend a New Volunteer Orientation at the Conservatory.

 
 

Get yourself cleared through Chicago Park District by getting fingerprinted.
We will let you know how to complete this step.

 

Schedule with our Volunteer Coordinator or watch your e-mails for upcoming opportunities.

 

  

VOLUNTEER GROUPS & SERVICE CLUBS

 

We do work with some adult volunteer groups on general landscape, maintenance, and gardening projects around the Conservatory. We also utilize the force of volunteer groups to help facilitate many of our large public events. These group opportunities are arranged on a case-by-case basis and as needed. If you have a service group that is interested in helping out with a project or event at the Conservatory, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator to discuss the possibilities.

    

NEW VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONS

 

All new volunteers must attend a Volunteer Orientation before starting. Potential volunteers can do this before submitting an application, to gather information, or applicants can attend one of these sessions after the application process has begun. These sessions include information about the variety of volunteer opportunities we offer and the nuts-and-bolts of volunteering with us, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of our historic facility.

 

Our volunteer positions are filled for the summer. We will have our next Volunteer Orientation in late summer to prepare for the fall and winter seasons. Upcoming Volunteer Orientations are listed below. To receive an applications or get your volunteer questions answered, contact Mattie Wilson at mwilson@garfieldpark.org.

 

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations

 

Saturday

November 8

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

 

Wednesday

December 3

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

 

  

 

 

   

VOLUNTEER AREAS

 

Family Programming Help facilitate drop-in explorations and make-and-take activities in the Children’s Garden, Sugar from the Sun, and Play and Grow Garden, as well as throughout the Conservatory; assist with preparation of materials for weekend and evening family programs. (Applicants may be asked to take part in an in-person interview with our Family Programs Coordinator before volunteering begins; specialized training will be provided.)
   
   

Special Events Help behind the scenes and on the front-line with special events. Meet and greet visitors, help facilitate hands-on activities and education stations, assist with traffic flow, and help with set-up, break-down, and behind the scenes preparations.

   

Plant Propagation & Sales Work with staff to grow plants and create decorative containers that will be sold in the gift shop and at special events as a source of revenue to support our programs. Volunteers in this area will also propagate plants to be used in public programs, teacher trainings and fundraising events.

   

Horticultural Support & Urban Demonstration Garden Work with Chicago Park District horticulturists and floriculturists behind-the-scenes and in the plant collection to maintain the beautiful displays visitors have come to expect at the Conservatory. Beginning and skilled gardeners welcome; however, most tasks are related to the grooming and maintenance of plant collections, greenhouses and outdoor gardens. More advanced tasks will be assigned based on experience and skill level. (Please note: these positions are very popular and in high demand, so depending on the season, a volunteer may be placed on a waiting list to get on the schedule. Please contact our Volunteer Program Coordinator if you have questions about the horticulture schedule and the waiting list.)

   
   

Beekeeping We have a team of trained volunteer beekeepers who work hard all year long to maintain a collection of hives used for pollination, education and honey extraction. (Please note: Our volunteer beekeeping program is currently full. To be added to the program waitlist, volunteers need to attend a Beginning Beekeeping Class at GPC, fill out a volunteer application and attend a new volunteer orientation. In the meantime, we encourage you to submit a general volunteer application and participate in other areas of the Conservatory to get yourself started. As a volunteer, you will receive updates on all areas, including beekeeping.)

   
   

Composting Volunteers help maintain, harvest and troubleshoot our vermicompost and outdoor compost bins year-round as well as educate the public and school groups about the importance of composting. Experienced composters and inexperienced adults who want to learn are encouraged to join this program. Pre-requisite: Attend a Composting 101 class to gain the basic knowledge to maintain compost bins and educate the public.

   
   

Administrative Support Assist Programming, Development, Administration, and New Communities Departments with ongoing tasks like data entry, sorting and filing, space organization, and mailings. These assignments are generally Monday through Friday. Weekend opportunities are sometimes available, but limited.