The Arboretum offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Volunteers can volunteer individually or as group to help in the community garden, assist with horticultural work in campus landscapes, or help in campus natural lands. Come out and get your feet wet, your hands dirty, and your knowledge expanded, as you learn more about gardening, landscaping, or natural lands management!
Before starting your engagement with us, all volunteers are required to complete a volunteer waiver and register in our database. To facilitate the process, interested volunteers are encourage to complete the volunteer waiver online by clicking here. Individual volunteering is available throughout the week with no appointment necessary (see schedule).Volunteers can simply show up to our office punctually at the beginning of any of our volunteer shifts. Please bring a reusable water bottle, wear closed-toe shoes and a smile.
The Arboretum offers group volunteering, which supports groups of five (5) or more working together to support greening our campus. Volunteer activities can include working with our team to install or maintain landscapes, supporting tree care by working with our Arborists, learning to garden with our Community Garden group, or participating in natural lands management with the Natural Resources team. Your support in these programs is essential to the Arboretum, so please click on the link below to fill out a group volunteer form below.
COMMUNITY GARDEN/NURSERY ACTIVITIES
Creating Vegetable Beds: Loading compost in the wheelbarrow and moving it to the garden area to unload and then spreading it out with a rake.
Planting Seeds/Plants: Planting seeds in the garden beds. Seeds may be planted in small starter pots, and then planted in the garden when sprouted.
Tree Planting: Fruit trees and fruiting vines may be planted in permanent garden areas. Compost is first placed in the bottom of the hole and then plants are planted. Labeling and heavy watering should follow each planting.
Mulching Pathways: Laying cardboard out in the pathways first (remove any plastic tape), and then spreading mulch over the cardboard.
Mulching Garden Beds: Laying leaf/hay mulch on the growing beds.
Weeding: Pulling weeds (undesired plants) from the garden beds, pathways and perimeter of the garden. Ask the UCF staff member which plants are weeds.
Fertilizing: Spreading collected coffee grounds (removing the filters), mushroom compost, or other compost in the growing beds to provide vital nutrients to plants.
Insect Pest Control: Scouting the garden for pests and using an approved method for control (integrated pest management).
Harvest: Vegetables and herbs are harvested when ready at intervals during their growth.
Propagating: Making cuttings, planting seeds or dividing plants.
Insect Pest Control: Scouting the greenhouse for pests and using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques.
Fertilizing: Applying fertilizer as directed on the label of the particular fertilizer.
Weeding: Identifying undesirable plants by pulling to insure the roots are removed.
CAMPUS NATURAL AREAS ACTIVITIES
Vegetation Monitoring: Assist the Land Management team in collecting data and documenting vegetation changes in the UCF Natural Lands.
Pond and Trail Clean-ups: Students will collect trash and recycling from campus.
Invasive Species Removal: Students will be hand pulling invasive vines, and possibly using a machete to “hack” into invasive trees while LNR Land Management staff chemically treats the invasive plants.
Planting Projects: Students will physically plant small trees and shrubs in various locations around campus.
URBAN FORESTRY ACTIVITIES
Tree education: species, tree health and diseases, native vs. exotic tree species
Tree pruning techniques
Tree planting: Native trees may be planted in permanent areas around the campus. Compost is first placed in the bottom of the hole and then plants are planted. Labeling and heavy watering should follow each planting.
Managing exotic plant species that displace native species
The UCF Arboretum offers an array of great incentives to reward the hard work of all our dedicated volunteers. Just alert a staff member if you have enough hours to redeem the incentive and we will be happy to help you! See the flyer below for a full list of incentives: