Volunteers representing community, corporate, and college groups contribute over 3,000 hours of service every year! Group service projects at the Arb and Gardens are a great way for members to enjoy fresh air and exercise in a beautiful natural setting and work together toward a common goal. Our staff provides education about the work at hand and explains how volunteer efforts support our mission and programs.
UM Alpha Phi Omega Volunteers at the Arb
Help preserve our native ecosystems by joining us for monthly public stewardship events at the Arb (2nd Saturdays) and Gardens (3rd Saturdays) from 9 am–noon. Activities include the removal of non-native, invasive plants. Fall/winter work involves the use of loppers and hand saws as well as cutting, dragging, and piling brush. Spring/summer work primarily involves hand weeding. Since these events are open to the public we ask that group size be limited to 10 participants. Preregistration is required for all groups.
Groups are welcome to coordinate a private workday at the Arb and Gardens during the week or weekend. Preferred times are 9 am–noon or 1–4 pm. For private workdays we can usually accommodate larger groups depending on the time of year and work at hand. Activities may include natural areas restoration, display garden maintenance, and other special projects. We prefer a minimum of 20 volunteers to schedule a private workday. Some exceptions can be made depending on the season and type of work.
Ford Volunteer Corps in the Gaffield Childrens Garden
Groups are a great addition to any special event! Many of our main events offer a variety of jobs that are particularly suitable for group members. These include Spring Plant Sales (May), Shakespeare in the Arb (June), Music in the Arb (July, Aug, Sept), and more!
Where to Go?
Nichols Arboretum — 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor. Volunteers meet in the lower level of the Reader Center, which is the administrative building located at this entrance. Parking is limited at the Arb so please learn about your options in advance and plan accordingly.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens — 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. Ann Arbor. Volunteers meet in the west lobby located near the large visitor parking lot. Look for our beautiful Great Lakes mosaic panels leading to the west entrance.
For directions and parking info for the Arb and Gardens click here.
What to Wear?
Volunteers should dress for comfort and safety as work is outdoors in all seasons. Dress in layers and use sun protection, hats, etc. Sturdy close-toed shoes are required in all settings. Long pants are suggested when working in natural areas to protect against potentially poisonous plants and wildlife. To reduce waste, volunteers are encouraged to bring their own water bottle or travel mug.
Youth Volunteers from Honey Creek Middle School
What about Minors?
Volunteers under age 18 must request and submit a Youth Permission Form (PDF) prior to participation. Volunteers under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult for all activities. Not all volunteer activities are suitable for younger volunteers—even with adult supervision.