Volunteers are needed throughout the year at the Iowa Arboretum. They are involved with everything from gardening to decorating Christmas trees. We have a variety of opportunities for people of all ages and abilities listed below.

Indoor Opportunities

Weekend Gift Shop Volunteer100_7797
Our weekend hours run from the beginning of May through the weekend before Thanksgiving. Our gift shop is open Saturdays from 10am to 4pm and Sundays from noon to 4pm. From time to time, gift shop volunteers are also needed to help on weekdays. Volunteers in this position must be comfortable working unsupervised and handling money. A 1-hour training session is required to become a gift shop volunteer.


Event AssistantAutumn Hullabaloo 2010 066
We have a wide variety of events throughout the year both on site (such as our winter soup suppers, the spring pancake breakfast and our Autumn Hullabaloo) and off-site (the Des Moines Home and Garden Show at Hy-Vee Hall and the Iowa State Fair). These are great opportunities to get involved at the Arboretum and are ideal for students looking for community service hours.

Outdoor Opportunities

Horticulture VolunteerMusc-HOI-2010-024
Enjoy the experience of volunteering at a public horticulture institution to share your talents, learn new skills, and contribute to your community by assisting with garden maintenance and greenhouse operations, predominately in the spring, summer, and fall. This is a good opportunity for Master Gardeners to receive volunteer hours.


Adopt A GardenVolunteer
We need individuals and groups who can commit to adopting a garden for an entire growing season. This is another good option for Master Gardeners and small groups.



Tour GuideAutumn Hullabaloo 2010 021
The Iowa Arboretum regularly has requests for group tours both on weekdays and weekends. This position requires a training session and shadowing a tour. Volunteers must be comfortable walking at least a mile and speaking in front of a large group.