Botanic Garden/Biology Department
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, California 91330-8303
Phone: (818) 677-3496

© 2004 California State University, Northridge

Updated 4/12/17

Volunteer Information/Guidelines




Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer at the California State University Northridge Botanic Garden.  Hands-on contributions are a vital part of the ongoing maintenance and growth of the facility.  We have developed a few guidelines which formalizes our commitment to our Volunteers.

Time commitment: 
Volunteers meet from 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. on Thursday mornings. Botanic Garden staff members provide a variety of projects for the volunteers to work on, either individually or in groups. Meet at the Greenhouse complex.

For your safety and comfort please dress appropriately.  Sturdy shoes which completely cover your feet are required.  Consider a hat and/or sunscreen depending on the weather.  You are encouraged to bring your own pruners and gloves, as well as any favorite garden tool.

Parking is available in Lots G3 or G4 and permits may be purchased from the Information booth in G4 or from the self-service vending machines (quarters, $1, $5).  There is often free parking along Zelzah, but check the parking signs beforehand. Spaces are limited along Zelzah, so arrive early or be prepared to purchase a parking pass ($8 - over 4 hours, $6 - up to 4 hours) to park on campus.

Our Volunteer Program is informal, but you will have to sign a Volunteer Release form.  This paperwork will be completed during your initial visit as a Volunteer.

Activities vary but are centered around light gardening duties.  Activities such as  weeding, starting seeds, transplanting, soil mixing, propagation, minor pruning,composting, grooming of plant material and repotting are often done. Occasionally, we take an excursion to a botanically interesting location.

Benefits of being a volunteer

Hands-on  horticultural instruction: 
The many aspects of horticultural and light gardening skills, inventory, labeling, record entry, seed collection, etc. are put to use during our work sessions. Volunteers practice their new skills on the collection plants, before they apply them to their own plants at home.

Plant  Swap: 
Because our goal is to increase the diversity of the collection, we encourage plant trades with our Volunteers. We feel it is in our best interest to have duplicates of our plants growing in Volunteers' gardens.  In the unfortunate case where we lose a plant from the Garden, a known source is at hand.  We prefer named specimens that enhance our collection for class use. Surplus plant material generated by volunteer work projects is available for adoption by Garden Volunteers.

Our Garden Volunteers enjoy the weekly work sessions where we chat and discuss current issues while accomplishing much needed garden tasks. Many life-long friendships have resulted from continued participation as a Garden Volunteer.

Brenda Kanno
CSUN Botanic Garden
18111 Nordhoff Street - MC 8303
Northridge, CA 91330-8303
(818) 677-3496