Teach the Wonderful World of Plants

Starts the week of September 8, 2016 (6 week course)
NEW! Classes offered Thursdays 9am-1pm or Saturdays 9am-1pm

Are you a lover of gardening and botany? Do you love to share your passion with others, enjoying learning and talking with the public? Are you looking to become involved in a rewarding volunteer experience? Consider becoming a docent at the Botanical Gardens educating visitors of all ages!

To become a docent, a volunteer needs to:
• Complete the weekly docent training class series beginning in September of this year
• Have an interest or appreciation of plants and gardening
• Feel comfortable talking with groups of visitors of all ages and abilities
• Be able to volunteer in the Education Department for at least 24 hours per calendar year for tours and/or hands-on lessons
• Be adaptable and have a sense of humor

An education background is not required, but a high level of interest and enthusiasm is!

Our Classes:

This year there are  a couple options for Docent Training. We are offering two sessions– interested volunteers can either be trained on Thursdays or Saturdays. Our Thursday training “track” is for those interested in leading hands-on field trips and guided tours, and our Saturday “track” is for those interested in our informal hands-on programs including scout programs and special events as well as training to lead guided tours.

Roles Docents Play:
Lead guided tours of the Gardens for a variety of groups year round, teach hands-on programs to school-aged children and scout groups, facilitate activities in the Wegmans’ Family Garden, answer visitor questions during special plant exhibits and events and assist Education staff in programs that inspire and educate visitors about all the Gardens has to offer.

Training Details:
Docent training will begin on Thursday, September 8 or Saturday, September 10, depending on the session chosen. The training program requires a weekly commitment; concluding on Thursday, October 13 or Saturday, October 15. We will be celebrating the achievements of our newest docents with a graduation ceremony on Tuesday evening, October 18.
    • A participation cost of $25 is required for supply and printing fees. Registration is available
        at the door on the first class day, or in advance online.
    • Docents in training should expect to spend a couple of hours per week outside of class working
         on assigned readings and homework.
    • It is important to attend all of the training sessions. Make-up sessions can be arranged in certain or unforeseen circumstances.
    • Upon completion of the requirements, the docent will receive a certificate and be able to teach programs!

    Become a part of the Gardens! Learn all about the plants in the Gardens’ collection and build your gardening knowledge and skills. Meet new people with similar interests. Regular docent meetings add to the skills developed during the training program. Yearly field trip and class opportunities are available through the Gardens’ affiliation with MECOB, the Museum Education Consortium of Buffalo.

    Important note: Course must be taken with the commitment to become a docent. For those interested in learning more about botany and gardening and cannot volunteer, Horticulture Certificate Classes are offered on Saturdays starting September 10. Registration is available online.

    Click here for the curriculum and training schedule.

    Amanda Oldham, Education Assistant -
    Karen Hammer, Program and Volunteer Coordinator 827.1584 ext. 207 or