Careers and Volunteering

Outdoor Garden Support Volunteer

Title: Outdoor Garden Support Volunteer 

Employment Status: Volunteer 

Time Commitment:  A minimum of one to two, regularly scheduled two-hour shifts per month.

Typical shifts: 8 am – 10 am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Primary Functions:
Outdoor Garden Support Volunteers perform routine gardening maintenance, soil preparation and planting in the garden. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Key Job Elements:

•    Assists in the preparation of planting areas.
•    Mixes soils, and other materials to prepare planting beds.
•    Plants seeds, transplants and bulbs.
•    Assists in daily care and maintenance of plants and gardens: watering, fertilizing, pulling weeds, and grooming plants.
•    Assists in the harvest and preparation of cut flowers.
•    Performs pruning and deadwood removal of woody plants.
•    Assists in transporting plants from one garden area to another.
•    Answers routine horticulture questions from the public.


•    Signs up for shifts electronically on the volunteer database Volgistics.
•    Attends regular volunteer continuing education sessions and any scheduled mandatory volunteer training sessions.
•    Participates in periodic reviews.
•    Honors the time commitment requested of Outdoor Garden Support Volunteers

Organizational Relationships:    
•    Reports to assigned Gardener.  
•    Collaborates with Volunteer Supervisor
•    Interacts with staff, visitors and fellow volunteers.

•    Knowledge of horticulture and/or strong interest in plant growth.
•    Safety minded.
•    Skill in operation of garden and hand tools.

•    Interested in learning about horticulture, the Museum’s collection and founder.
•    A warm, empathetic, and enthusiastic communicator
•    Flexibility, patience, and a positive outlook
•    Commitment to, enthusiasm for, and comfort with conversing with a diverse range of people
•    Detail oriented
•    Able to meet the yearly time commitment
•    Timely and responsive in correspondence via email and phone
•    Basic comfort level with and regular use of email and computers
•    Demonstrates a commitment to the spirit of Hillwood’s mission, vision, and interpretive messages, and keeps them at the forefront of all endeavors

In addition to our strong volunteer cohort, Hillwood also has a vital membership program, which supports our efforts to share the legacy of Marjorie Merriweather Post. For volunteers beginning after September 1, 2018, maintaining an active Hillwood membership at any level is required to serve as an active volunteer. This step further deepens our volunteers’ engagement with Hillwood and allows volunteers to strengthen their roles as Hillwood ambassadors. Volunteers can join or renew their membership by calling 202.686.5807 or visiting the membership page of Hillwood’s website at Membership | Hillwood Estate, Museum and Garden (

Work Environment:      
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a volunteer encounters while performing the essential functions of the volunteer role.  While volunteering an Outdoor Garden Support Volunteer is regularly required to communicate professionally in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means, stand for extended periods of time outside (rain or shine, except during severe weather conditions), ascend/descend stairs, move about their volunteer area, between buildings, and the campus grounds, and visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.   The volunteer is regularly required to squat, kneel, crouch, bend and on occasion lift and/or carry 25 pounds unassisted. There is minimal exposure to commonly-used horticultural chemicals.

The preceding volunteer description has been designed to indicate the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by an Outdoor Garden Support Volunteer. It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of volunteers to do this role.
To Apply
We are a progressive, equal opportunity organization and all interested parties are encouraged to apply. So, volunteer “Where Fabulous Lives!” For prompt consideration, please submit your online application via the Jobs & volunteering page via Hillwood’s website. Or by clicking here