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National Tropical Botanical Garden is committed to building and nurturing our valuable volunteer team. We believe having a passionate, responsive and dynamic volunteer community at the Garden is one of the best strategic tools to achieve our mission. By becoming a volunteer you make a substantial contribution to preservation and knowledge of tropical plants and ecosystems. Why not use your time and talent to grow with us?

  • Fun and rewarding
  • Variety of opportunities available – put your current skills and experience to work or learn something new that interests you
  • Opportunities available year-round, weekdays and/or weekends
  • Flexible hours – some volunteers come in a few times a week, some once a month, and others on a seasonal basis.
  • NTBG has several positions that are suitable for volunteers who are visiting the area and may only be able to commit to one shift, a minimum of 3-4 hours of time.
  • Ages range from 10 to 80+
  • Supportive workplace environment
  • Orientation and on-the-job training specific to your position
  • Great benefits such as invitations to special events, special newsletters, behind-the-scenes access, opportunities to learn more about the fascinating world of tropical plants, and a chance to make new friends

Becoming a Volunteer is easy

Simply contact one of our locations or email our central office at Staff will match your interests, abilities, and availability with the Garden’s current volunteer needs. We’ve posted below just some of the opportunities available, but there are many more ways to help. We would be happy to discuss them with you!

Volunteer on Kaua’i

North Shore

Limahuli Garden, Ha’ena
(808) 826-1668 ext. 3

Register to be a Limahuli Garden volunteer.

South Shore

NTBG Headquarters, McBryde and Allerton Gardens
(808) 762-1417

Register to be an Allerton/McBryde volunteer.

Volunteer on Maui

Kahanu Garden
Call (808) 248-8912

Volunteer in Florida

The Kampong
Call (305) 442-7169 ext. 103

Register to be a Kampong volunteer.

Current Volunteers

Log in to the Volunteer Information Center : schedule, view the calendar, and update contact information.

Log in here from your mobile device to use VicTouch time clock system to record your start/end of your volunteer service day:

Volunteer Opportunities

Nursery Assistant

Conservation and Horticulture Center, McBryde Garden

We are looking for plant enthusiasts to help the Garden grow in our busy nursery facilities. Duties include: repotting plants, weeding, pot-washing, watering, inventory, and light maintenance. This is your chance to gain expert knowledge in plant care through hands-on training and supervision.
No experience or green thumb necessary, but enthusiasm is a must, as well as a two-hour minimum on any one day. On any weekday between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.


Food for Thought Hospitality Volunteer

McBryde Garden

Welcome visitors as they stroll through the McBryde Garden in the Lawa’i Valley by manning the Food for Thought food station, selling snacks and cold beverages. The Garden needs volunteers for weekdays, hours flexible.


Visiting Volunteer Opportunities – “Vacation and Volunteer”

Visiting/Vacationing or Short Term Volunteers Are Welcome!
Please complete the volunteer registration form once your travel plans are confirmed and your date(s) of availability to volunteer are known. On the form, select a volunteer position with Visiting Volunteer in the title (these are positions in which you can make a big impact in just a few hours time!). Agroforestry, Conservation Nursery, or Horticulture all accept “one time” volunteers.



Limahuli Garden Docent – Public Tours

Limahuli Garden & Preserve

Share the beauty, abundant botanical resources, and rich cultural history of Limahuli Garden. After undertaking a comprehensive training, you will be able to share the Garden with others by leading guided tours of this incredible site.

Docents must be able to attend training classes, commit to leading tours on a regular basis, enjoy interacting with the public, be physically able to walk up steep hills, and want to work in a breathtaking setting.


Aloha Volunteers

Southshore Visitors Center

Want to share your aloha and love of the Garden by greeting and directing visitors when they arrive at the Visitors Center?

Greeters get to spend their time in the lovely Visitors Center Garden, welcoming visitors, answering general questions, and directing them to the tour check-in area, gift shop, and other locales at the site. Time commitment: Any day from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., prefer a minimum of two hours.


Education Program Volunteers

Headquarters, McBryde, Allerton

Interested in teaching our island keiki about the basics of plant life, ethnobotany, or the mystery of seeds? Our Garden As Classroom* (GAC) volunteer leaders follow set curriculum while guiding school groups on a morning of adventure through the southshore gardens. Time commitment: GAC volunteers average a 3-4 hour commitment 1-4 weekday mornings a month during the active school year.

There are more opportunities to assist with NTBG’s other courses for students of various ages, with varied needs and time commitments. Simply ask our

*children’s education volunteers will be background-checked.


Gardener’s Assistant

McBryde Garden

McBryde Garden is a botanical treasurehouse of tropical flora, containing collections of native Hawaiian species and many other plants that have been wild-collected from the tropical regions of the world. We are seeking a Gardener’s Assistant to help us care for these plants by planting, weeding, watering, trimming, and raking.

This role would suit someone who is interested in learning more about plants and gaining skills in gardening. You will be working under the supervision of a lead gardener. No previous experience is necessary. This role will require bending and some light lifting. Time commitment: any weekday, any time between 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.


Horticulture Volunteer

Limahuli Garden & Preserve

Limahuli Garden and Preserve is dedicated to the conservation of native Hawaiian species, striving to perpetuate modern Hawaiian culture by encouraging community involvement and education. We welcome our volunteers to be involved in our preservation efforts through planting, weeding, watering, and general maintenance of rare and endangered species in our Garden.

This work would suit someone in good physical condition looking to work outdoors in varying weather conditions. Some of the Garden is hilly and volunteers are expected to be able to perform activities normally associated with gardening. No expertise is required. Some knowledge of native Hawaiian plants is desirable, but a willingness and passion to learn about native ecosystems and Hawaiian culture is most important.

To make arrangements and for more information about needed gear and supplies, please contact the volunteer coordinator at Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Time commitment: minimum of four (4) hours


Forest Restoration Volunteer

Limahuli Garden & Preserve

You will be working in the heart of Limahuli Valley at our restoration project site helping to preserve the ‘aina of Kaua’i. You will be involved in planting and maintaining native Hawaiian plant restoration sites, invasive species removal, and trail maintenance.

This work would suit someone in very good physical condition looking to work outdoors in varying weather conditions. All volunteers must be able to hike one-half hour or more on uneven terrain to the worksites in the Valley, often carrying plants and tools to and from the restoration project sites. Some knowledge of Hawai’i’s native plants would be advantageous, but passion and enthusiasm to learn more about the Hawaiian ecosystems and culture is most important.

To make arrangements and for more information about needed gear and supplies, please contact the volunteer coordinator at Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Time commitment: minimum of four (4) hours


Nursery Handypersons

Conservation and Horticulture Center, McBryde Garden

Do you have some skills as a handyperson? The NTBG Living Collections and Horticulture Department is looking for a few people to help maintain and construct infrastructure in our nursery (building tables for potting, basic assistance with irrigation systems, helping with general facility upkeep).

Some basic handyperson skills are preferred. You’ll need the ability to work with volunteers and other employees. The physical component varies; some work can be done while sitting down and other work is very strenuous (i.e., construction). Time commitment: Flexible, prefer help on Mondays or Wednesdays.


Restoration Assistant

McBryde Garden and Allerton Garden

Interested in working with and learning more about native plant species? As a Restoration Assistant you will be working with Conservation Department staff at one of our restoration sites in the beautiful Lawa ‘i Valley. Project sites include a native forest, along a streambank, and the coastline. You will be involved in watering, planting, weeding and propagation while learning about native plant community restoration in theory and practice.

This role requires the ability to perform basic gardening tasks while working on uneven terrain and enthusiasm to learn more about Hawaii’s native plants and ecosystems. Time commitment: Weekly or on-call.


Herbarium Volunteer


The NTBG Herbarium houses approximately tens of thousands preserved plant specimens which serve as a reference collection of tropical plant life, with an emphasis on Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian. We are looking for individuals interested in learning more about collection and plant conservation to prepare and mount specimens for future study.

This role would suit someone with steady hands, good vision for close-up work and ability to sit for long periods of time. Desired traits include: communication skills, enthusiasm for learning, capacity to work independently and as part of a team, willingness to follow specific guidelines and ability to be detail-oriented. Time commitment: Minimum 3 hours per week (opportunity exists for more hours).


Arts and Crafts Volunteers


“Oshibana,” our arts and crafts volunteers, make products from plant materials or with a botanical theme. These creations are sold to benefit the NTBG, either at the southshore gift shop or at craft fairs on Kaua’i.

This is a group activity for which we are seeking additional volunteers. No prior skills necessary. Time commitment: Any Friday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Special Events Volunteers, on-call


Interested in being involved with the implementation of exciting events and interacting with visitors in an upbeat and fun environment? We are actively looking for volunteers to join our special events roster.

You will assist at Garden and community events by staffing information tables, working behind the scenes, greeting visitors, handing out programs and support materials, and filling in wherever is most needed.

Some of the events we hold or participate in are the Kaua’i County Farm Fair, Taro Festival, Kōloa Plantation Days, Holiday Craft Fair at our Southshore Visitors Center, Arbor Day, Mother’s Day Open House, and more. Time Commitment: On-call.


Volunteer Program Support Assistant


Are you a people person? As a Volunteer Program Support Assistant you will wear many hats: helping recruit new volunteers, assisting with coordinating volunteer schedules, ensuring that all necessary data is recorded for evaluation and reporting, and program and event planning. You truly want to connect the mission of the Garden with the community.

Your skills should include typing, and experience with MS Office and the Internet. You should have a friendly personality, creative streak, and the willingness work independently and as a team. Time commitment: Flexible.


Bulk Mail Volunteers, on-call


Throughout the year, newsletters, invitations, and information are sent to donors and members of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. We need volunteers to help with this mailing process by collating and folding papers, stuffing envelopes, applying postage, and creating and applying mailing labels. Volunteers normally work in a team, so this is also a good opportunity to socialize and meet other people who support the Garden’s mission. Time commitment: On-call.

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