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 encouraged to complete the volunteer waiver online:
Our volunteering system has moved to Knight Connect! This is to make logging student volunteer hours easier and better. To sign up for a volunteer shift, students must first be a member of our page. Go to Knight Connect and click the blue ‘Join’ button (if there is not a ‘Join’ button, you have to sign in first using your NID and NID password). Once you have joined, scroll to the bottom of the page to ‘Public Events’ where our volunteer shifts are located. Select a shift in order to RSVP. Arrive early to your volunteer shift and start volunteering!
Once you have finished your volunteer shift, send a request for service hours. Sign in to your Knight Connect account, click your profile icon on the top-right corner and select “Service Hours”. Click the “Add Service Hours” button and fill out the form. The Verification Contact is email@example.com. Click create. You’re all set! Service hours must be submitted the same week by the end of Friday.
Volunteers are recommended to bring water, sunscreen, and closed-toe shoes as they will be volunteering outside. Volunteers will meet at the Arboretum office before the shift starts.
If a volunteer is absent for more than two shifts without cancelling 24 hours in advance, they will not be allowed to RSVP for shifts the remainder of the semester. Any volunteers who do not get a chance to RSVP before the shift may show up to the shift and take the spot of any student who did RSVP but did not show up on time. For any questions regarding volunteer shifts, please email Kelsie at firstname.lastname@example.org.Knight Connect
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. Group volunteer applications must be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to the requested day. Failure to submit an application two weeks in advance will result in an automatic denial of the application.Group Volunteer Application
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: First (remove any plastic tape), then lay card boards out in the pathways, and finally spread 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, 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
- Weeding: Identifying undesirable plants by pulling to insure the roots are removed
Campus Natural Areas Activities
- Planting Projects: Students will physically plant small trees and shrubs in various locations around campus
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! Please see our in office flyer for more information.