Volunteer in the Gardens

We're always ready to make new friends!

Do you love plants? Do you love to garden? The MSU Horticulture Gardens staff relies on a dedicated group of volunteers who help us accomplish many tasks each year. No experience is necessary - though you may find new ways to use your skills to help! With 14 acres of planted gardens and many tour groups who visit every year, there are plenty of opportunities for you to help. Hands-on work may involve annuals, vegetables, perennials, roses, native plants and more - in fact, you name it!  The opportunities are endless and every week the work is different as the season progresses.

Volunteers generally meet every Tuesday morning during the spring and summer from 9am-Noon, weather permitting.  There are also some weekend volunteering opportunities in the spring as we prepare for our biggest fundraiser of the year, The Plant Sale!  Those who enjoy meeting other gardeners and visitors may want to volunteer in our Visitor Booth, open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday-Friday, during our summer hours. Sign up for a 3.5-hour shift, either morning or afternoon. We encourage volunteers to sign up with a friend.

Each year, we hold an awards reception in December to recognize our volunteers and all that they contribute to the success of our gardens. Volunteers Awards are given for top Labor Volunteer and Docent Volunteer. The awardees receive a brick engraved with their name and the year of the award. These bricks are installed in the Perennial Garden Walk as permanent recognition of the volunteer's contributions to our gardens. Some volunteers log innumerable hours, and these awards are a tribute to their dedication! 

2015 Volunteer of the Year

Our Volunteers Are Amazing!

Our dedicated volunteers donate thousands of hours of garden labor and educational instruction each year. Our labor volunteers help us keep our gardens looking great. Our docent volunteers help us educate thousands of children and adults each year in a variety of science- and nature-based programs. All of our volunteers help keep events and fundraisers running smoothly!

Here is a list of the number of hours donated by our volunteers over the last 5 years:

Year Docent Hours Labor Hours Total Hours
2011 1190 2461 3651
2012 1407 2253 3660
2013 1051 2052 3103
2014 1124 1626 2750
2015 1062 1941 3003
2016 1514 1254 2468
2017 1417 1700 3117
2018 1475 1756 3231


To learn more and to receive weekly emails about volunteer opportunities, contact:

Bethany Troy, Volunteer Coordinator

(517) 353-0330