Volunteers are essential to the Arboretum’s educational mission of fostering knowledge and appreciation of life science and the natural world. Please consider participating as an Arboretum volunteer—enjoy the rewards of connecting people with the world of plants.
Make a difference as a volunteer guide in our Field Study Experiences. Lead small groups of children from Boston area schools through hands on, active learning programs. Guide recruitment is ongoing; we are always interviewing for new guides. To learn more, submit a volunteer application, or contact Manager of Children’s Education Nancy Sableski at 617.384.5239 or by email.
Engage with visitors young and old, help people find their way, share your fascination for plants, and communicate how the Arboretum is a living museum. Interpreters are trained to use a small display in the landscape and to interact with visitors in casual, one-on-one or small group interactions. To be contacted to learn more about the program, please fill out and submit the volunteer application, or contact Manager of Visitor Engagement Kate Stonefoot at 617.384.5229.
Share your love of plants. Become an arboretum docent and lead landscape tours for groups of adults. Tours include a combination of Arboretum information, current plant highlights, natural history, and botany. To be contacted to learn more about the program, please fill out and submit the volunteer application, or contact Sheryl White, Coordinator of Visitor Engagement and Exhibitions, at 617.384.5251.
Tree Spotters Citizen Science Program
Active from 2015-2020, the Tree Spotters Citizen Science program partnered with the National Phenology Network (NPN) to train citizen scientists to collect phenology data from 15 native tree species at the Arnold Arboretum. The program began as an initiative of the Temporal Ecology Laboratory (formerly located at Harvard University), and later became an official Arnold Arboretum program in 2018.
During the program’s five-year span, hundreds of volunteers submitted over 330,000 phenological observations to the NPN’s database. These data can be accessed on the Data Resources page, or using the NPN’s Phenology Observation Portal or Phenology Visualization Tool.
While the official program concluded in December 2020, Tree Spotters continues as a volunteer-run citizen science group at the Arboretum. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Many thanks to Tree Spotters participants for their hard work and dedication to the program over the years!
Photographs by Jon Hetman, Nancy Sableski, Sheryl White, and Regina Mission.