The mission of New England Wild Flower Society is to conserve and promote the region’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes. The Society is the nation’s oldest plant conservation organization and a recognized leader in native plant conservation, horticulture, and education. The Society’s headquarters, Garden in the Woods, is a renowned native plant botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, that attracts visitors from all over the world. From monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, conduct research, and offer a range of educational programs.
Our volunteer guides offer visitors a personal introduction to Garden in the Woods, the Society, and the beauty and importance of native plants. Guides lead tours at Garden in the Woods from mid-April to mid-October. Tours usually take 1 hour and follow a trail through the natural woodland, which is a little less than a mile in length. Guides lead both informal drop-in tours (see seasonal schedule below) and scheduled tours for groups such as garden clubs, senior centers, and horticultural organizations throughout the season.Drop-in Tour Schedule 2017
- Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m.
- Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
- Wednesday at 11 a.m.
- Saturday at 2 p.m.
If you like to work with people, enjoy plants, gardening, or the natural world, and have time to volunteer, you should consider becoming a guide at Garden in the Woods. Guides are able to learn about the Garden’s history, native plants, horticulture, and botany, while helping visitors make connections to the natural world around them. Volunteers do not need a background in teaching--our guides have a wide variety of backgrounds and work experience. Successful guides are open-minded, willing to learn, friendly, patient, reliable, and enthusiastic representatives of New England Wild Flower Society.Responsibilities
- Guides lead groups of approximately 10 people through the Garden
- Guides are responsible for arriving on time, checking in with the Public Programs Coordinator or Visitor Center staff, helping to greet groups, and notifying the Public Programs Department if they are unable to come as scheduled
- Guides must attend the multi-session spring guide training program at Garden in the Woods, become familiar with the guide training notebook, and "shadow" experienced guides 3 or more times before leading their first tour
The tour schedule wanes and waxes as the seasons change. We offer tours from mid-April to mid-October, however our busiest times are May and June. We request that our guides lead a minimum of 8 tours per year. Guides may sign up for weekday tours, weekend tours, or both. Guides must attend the 2018 spring guide training program.
In addition to sharing and discovering plants and nature with others, guides receive free admission to Garden in the Woods. Guides also enjoy opportunities to learn, grow as individuals, and to share with others who have compatible interests. Active guides who lead 8 or more tours a year have the opportunity to take free classes with the Society, space permitting. Guides also enjoy special volunteer programs ranging from garden tours to slide presentations and lectures at brown-bag lunches. Seasonal talks and walks are also offered as refreshers for guides.
- People Skills
- Environmental Education
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Background Check
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- Lead at least 8 tours from April-October 2018
- Successful guides are open-minded, willing to learn, friendly, patient, reliable, and enthusiastic