Seeking Children's Docents at Duke Gardens

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Sarah P. Duke Gardens

  • 6 people are interested

Duke Gardens is temporarily closed until further notice, in accordance with Duke University's campus-wide policies to minimize health and safety risks in the Duke and Durham communities, and to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This closure includes all indoor and outdoor spaces at Duke Gardens.

For more information and further updates, please go to

We look forward to reopening Duke Gardens in the future. But for now, the most important thing we can do as a community is to follow the directives from local, state and federal public health officials.

We anticipate a need for volunteers in Fall 2020 and will announce any volunteer needs via the Duke Gardens website at:

Children's Docents
Are you a nature lover who enjoys engaging with children? All you need is an interest in nature, a willingness to grow and learn, and a flexible, friendly attitude to become a Duke Gardens children's docent. Join an energetic team of Duke Gardens volunteers who are passionate about sharing their enthusiasm about nature and interacting with children outdoors in the Gardens. To learn more about Duke Gardens school program offerings, please visit:

Location: Garden wide, indoors or outdoors

Days and Times needed: Tues., Wed., Thur., Fri., mornings with possibility of occasional afternoon programs for 2-4 hours per week

Time of Year: September-May

Qualifications: Knowledge of the Garden or willingness to learn. Ability to be creative, communicate with children and educate them according to education program objectives. Enjoy learning new things and working on a team of volunteers to administer education programming and communicate with teachers, parents and chaperones as needed. Must enjoy being outside in all weather conditions and have the ability to move throughout the Gardens on foot during a 60-120 minute program.**Please note: All children's docents are required to submit documentation for a background check.

Training: Docent trainings require specific training, observing, shadowing and practice to become proficient in program preparation and presentations to children. A willingness to learn specifics of each program and to be able implement or assist lead docent in execution is necessary. Some training is on the job and includes observation and shadowing of current docents. Self-study of program materials is also recommended. All garden volunteers required to participate in Core Knowledge Training which consists of a series of 3 courses totaling approximately 6 hours. These Core Knowledge Training classes are offered twice per year and need to be taken only once when it is convenient.

Volunteer Benefits:

* Make a difference in your community and inspire others by supporting the mission of Duke Gardens
* Meet people with similar interests
* Enjoy volunteer events, lunch and learn programs and annual celebrations
* Earn a discount at Duke Gardens' Terrace Gift Shop
* Have fun and challenge yourself

Questions about volunteering at Duke Gardens? Please email us or call 919.668.3694. Thank you for your interest!

5 More opportunities with Sarah P. Duke Gardens

About Sarah P. Duke Gardens


Duke University, 420 Anderson Street, Durham, NC 27708, US

Mission Statement

Sarah P. Duke Gardens creates and nurtures an environment in the heart of Duke University for learning, inspiration and enjoyment through excellence in horticulture.


Sarah P. Duke Gardens is widely recognized as a premier public garden, providing extraordinary visitor experiences, horticultural artistry, leadership in conservation, and innovative programs. It plays a vital role in the life and values of Duke University and is a respite from the ordinary in a welcoming and beautiful setting.

Gardens need people to bring them to life, and people to nourish and pass them into future hands. Duke Gardens volunteers are that promise to the future. We cannot overstate the essential contribution volunteers make to the growth, purpose and beauty of the Gardens.

Expand your knowledge of the natural world and help each visitor find inspiration, enjoyment and a stronger connection to Duke Gardens. Volunteers bring their interests, energy, knowledge and passion to the Gardens, helping visitors by:
* offering information
* guiding tours and leading education programs
* maintaining gardens
* promoting membership
* enriching each visitor’s experience


Sat Feb 15, 2020 - Thu Dec 31, 2020
09:00 AM - 11:30 AM  


Sarah P. Duke GardensDuke University420 Anderson StreetDurham, NC 27708



  • General Education
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Environmental Education
  • Gardening
  • STEM




  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • Sept.-May, 2-4 hours on weekday mornings (Tue-Fri) Additional time commitment for initial trainings in September 2019 and refresher trainings in Spring 2020.
  • **Please note: All children's docents are required to submit documentation for a background check.

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