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Nihon Teien Matsuri--Japanese Garden Festival volunteer

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  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 15 people are interested

Festival volunteers

Hopefully, every festival volunteer will also be one of our AMBASSADORS. This versatile position is present for event needs such as weddings and tours. The Ambassador role creates a pleasant atmosphere, greets guests, and provides direction and information. Provides additional support for events as needed.

* Excellent customer service skills
* Diplomatic and discrete
* Willingness to learn about the history of the Japanese Garden
* Able to devote 1- 5 hours per month
* Ability to build and maintain relationships with college staff and peers
* Flexibility in alternating responsibilities between Wedding Host and Tour Guide
* Ability to lift up to 20 lbs
* Ability to walk and stand for the duration of event shifts

A knowledge of the Japanese language, Japanese or Japanese American culture, horticulture or Japanese Gardens is a plus, but not required.

On the day of the event, we need volunteers to help set-up and take-down, collect donations, help out in the boutique, lead tours in the garden, sell the history books and coloring books, and lead children's activities. Some years, we need small (Japanese size) models for the Kimono style show.

NOTES--The 2020 festival was canceled. Normandale foundation and college staff are still in conversations with the leadership of the volunteer group about whether or not to hold a 2021 festival. Our annual event takes place on the fourth Saturday of September. We help with many aspects of conducting the annual festival. The work on the Festival begins several months in advance of the event. Finding the sponsors, entertainers, speakers, exhibits, and volunteers for each year's Festival takes creativity, networking, and organizational savvy. We can use your help preparing displays.

COVID-19 restrictions: Normandale Community College will continue conducting nearly all teaching, learning, and campus services and operations online. Campus buildings will remain closed to the public until a date not yet known. As long as that is the case and in keeping with the State of Minnesota guidelines on social distancing, committee meetings are held by ZOOM calls. Small group tours, training, or meetings of ten persons or fewer may be conducted outside at the garden in favorable weather; otherwise, in-person meetings will not resume until restrictions at the college are lifted.

1 Shift

  • 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    The size of the shifts can vary, but please commit to at least 3 hours.

4 More opportunities with NORMANDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION--Japanese Garden



The Japanese Garden, 9700 France Ave S., Bloomington, MN 55431, US

Mission Statement

Vision Statement: The Normandale Japanese Garden (Nihon Teien) is an authentic traditional Japanese Garden in North America that provides a special experience to each and every visitor; a Garden open year round to the community; a place where the unique skills and techniques that are necessary to create a Japanese garden are observed, cherished, learned; where specialized interpretation of cultural traditions and elements of the Nihon Teien ensure the continuance for many generations in the future.


Bloomington Affiliated Garden Clubs used a $500 Sears grant in 1967 to start Normandale Japanese Garden. Our web pages give a photographic history, including Takao Watanabe's plans.
Japanese Garden Committee
The Normandale Japanese Garden Committee is a 10-20 person advisory committee. The Committee was founded in 1980. The Committee's mission is to promote and raise funds for the perpetual care and improvement of the garden. In cooperation with the Normandale College Foundation and with Normandale College Staff, the Committee is charged to see that all construction and maintenance shall adhere to the original design concept of Takao Watanabe.
We meet monthly on the third Mondays. Committee members are expected to attend the regular meetings and to serve on one or more of the subcommittees which include tours/weddings, festival, public relations, buildings and grounds, membership, and website communications. We've begun a Master Planning process and need more Committee members. We welcome a background related to: gardening, landscape architecture, Japanese gardening or Japanese culture, fundraising, finance, publicity, horticulture, local government, land use planning, education, communication, wetland management, law or areas related to our mission.We also welcome volunteers if committing to monthly meetings isn't feasible: event hosts, tour guides (May to October), fall or spring teachers, and Festival volunteers!

Race & Ethnicity


We'll work with your schedule.
This opportunity has 1 shift


Normandale Japanese Garden andKopp Student Center, NCC9700 France Ave SBloomington, MN 55431



  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Exhibition Arts
  • Customer Service
  • Fundraising
  • CSR / Volunteer Coordination
  • Japanese


  • Teens
  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Must be at least 17
  • Orientation or Training
  • The Festival lasts five hours. Some volunteers help for as little as 2 hours. Planning begins 8 months in advance.

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