Volunteer

From Beginning Gardener to Master Gardener, there's a place for everyone.

Yew Dell has a dedicated group of volunteers with a large range of skills that help at special events or in day to day activities. We would love to have you join our group of wonderful volunteers!  Whatever your skills or experience, we have a project that could use your talent. Coming out to volunteer is a great way to meet new people, learn more about gardening, or develop a new skill. Yew Dell provides a beautiful outdoor setting to work in individually or as a group. We have opportunities that are great for novice gardeners, Master Gardeners, or even those who are not blessed with a green thumb.

Volunteer Celebration!

RSVP today! On May 18, meet and mingle with other volunteers, walk the gardens with our staff, participate in a plant swap (take a plant, leave a plant!), and celebrate your grand accomplishments from 2021!
Registration will close on May 11, so don’t miss out!

Our goal is to empower all volunteers to contribute to the mission of Yew Dell while providing a rewarding and engaging experience where all contributions are valued and appreciated.

Volunteer Spotlight

Barbara has been coming out to help since 2014.  She is a great example of the symbiotic relationship that many experience.  Spending most of her volunteer hours in the nursery she has become a big part of the small community that has grown out of the nursery in the last few years.  She has partnered up with another nursery volunteer to coordinate days to help out together.  It is a great example of what can happen when you volunteer at Yew Dell.  It may start as just coming out to fulfill hours for a Master Gardener program but grows into a weekly reason to visit friends, help out the garden, and learn more about plants each time!

We are thrilled to honor Barbara Hartung in this month’s Volunteer Spotlight! 

I became involved after touring Yew Dell with both the Jefferson and Oldham County Master Gardeners. I must admit I had not visited Yew Dell before these visits and I was quite impressed – I wanted to learn more about the varied garden areas and the interesting garden styles and buildings. I had just recently become a Master Gardener at the time and all Master Gardeners are required to volunteer a certain number of hours each year. Particularly since I am a resident of Oldham County Yew Dell just seemed to be the right place for me to volunteer. I have certainly never regretted that decision.

In addition to discovering what a hidden gem Yew Dell is, I think the biggest surprise was the variety of activities available for volunteers. I have helped locate and make plant identification labels, worked in trial gardens, helped with Christmas activities and decorations, worked at the plant sales and participated in general gardening duties. I particularly liked the fact that, after the greenhouse/glasshouse was built, there was a place to volunteer during the winter. On cold and gloomy winter days to be able to be surrounded by plants is like enjoying an early taste of spring.

What I have enjoyed the most is the opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of plants both by working with them along with Yew Dell’s very knowledgeable personnel as well as through several of the classes and activities that Yew Dell has sponsored over the years that I have been a volunteer and a member.

I was born and raised in Louisville and have lived here all my life. In my 30’s, after having married and having taken time off from several other potential career paths for the births of my son and daughter, I decided to change course and attended law school at the University of Louisville. I practiced law in Louisville for over 30 years – it wasn’t until I was close to retiring that I was fully able to indulge my love of plants and gardening by becoming a Master Gardener.  Since my retirement, I have also earned a Permaculture Certificate from Oregon State University.  These days my three passions – in addition to my children and my six grandsons – are gardening, plant or ecology-related learning opportunities and working on family histories and genealogy for myself and for several of my relatives and friends. 

I would suggest that they first review the opportunities that are available by going to Yew Dell’s webpage for a general idea of its volunteer opportunities. Next, I would suggest they come out to Yew Dell on those days of the week that offer volunteer activities which align with their interests just to see what is going on.  While there talk with other volunteers – I think they will agree that Yew Dell is a great place to volunteer. Then sign up for the volunteer opportunities that look interesting and become a member of the team.

Volunteer Opportunities

Training and materials are provided for all positions. Keep in mind if you are working outside that you will want to wear comfortable shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty.

Garden
Workdays

If you love being outdoors and around plants Yew Dell can always use a few more gardeners – whether beginner or expert! The need in the gardens changes from season to season, but there is always plenty that needs to be done. Tasks include weeding, pruning, mulching, raking, planting and more.

Orientation required

Saturday
Workdays

A tradition at Yew Dell since 2002, this is a great opportunity to get a taste of what volunteering in the gardens is like before attending an orientation to learn more about volunteering. Come out, meet other volunteers, work in the gardens and have a great time! Individuals and groups welcome.

Orientation required after participating in two Saturday Workdays.

Administrative
Opportunities

Work with us behind the scenes on a variety of projects including assembling marketing folders, branding bags, and occasional clerical work.

Orientation required

Volunteer
Orientation

Looking to get involved? You're in the right place! Join us for a Volunteer Orientation session to learn about all the volunteer opportunities Yew Dell has to offer and how to join our team!

Please note that participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult to orientation. See FAQ below for more information about youth volunteers.

Nursery
Volunteers

Are you interested in a "behind the scenes" look at how plants make their way through the nursery then into our garden and gardens throughout our community? Reach out to learn about how to get involved in the Nursery Program!

Orientation required; limited spots available

Volunteer
Photography

Our photographers work to capture the beauty of the gardens as well as the human element. The photos and videos provided by our volunteer photographers may be utilized in social media posts, website updates, printed publications and more.

Orientation required

Docent
Program

Yew Dell has a fascinating history, beautiful gardens, and lots of charm to share with guests. If you want to learn more about Yew Dell and share that information, then this is the perfect task for you! Mandatory orientation and training are required for those approved for this role.

Orientation required

Fairy
Volunteers

Help to spark the imagination of visitors of all ages! Fairy volunteers get creative building houses for our Fairy Forest as well as assisting in its maintenance throughout the year.

Orientation may be required 

Seasonal Volunteering

Summer Annual
Planting

Join Yew Dell Horticulturists as they install this seasons summer annual displays. Volunteers will assist with removing spent spring bulbs, layout of annual plantings, and plant over 3,000 summer annuals, all across the gardens.
Dates: May 11-13 & 18-20; AM and PM shifts available

Orientation required

Volunteer FAQs

No! We take volunteers of all different skill levels and you will certainly learn while working in the gardens.

Yew Dell will provide you all the tools needed for your task, but encourages you to bring your own garden gloves. If you have a favorite hand tools (like soil knives and pruners), we encourage you to bring them, just be sure they are labeled with your name and you don’t forget them when you leave!

Yew Dell encourages volunteers to bring their own gloves, though we do have a small stash for those that don’t bring their own. We also encourage volunteers to bring water,  a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, or other items you may need for comfort while working outside.

You must be 14 years or older to volunteer independently, though a guardian must be onsite during the volunteer shift. Volunteers who are ages 7-13 must have direct parent/guardian supervision. Yew Dell has a variety of opportunities for youth. Whether you are seeking service opportunities with your family, your church group, your youth organization, your school or simply on your own, we are excited to work with you to match you with appropriate activities that provide a fun and meaningful experience for you.

If you are looking for a fun way for employees, church groups, classes, or other organizations to get involved as a group, we offer many exciting opportunities for small to large groups. Contact us to learn about current opportunities.

Yew Dell hosts a variety of events throughout the year for the community, fundraising, members, children, etc. If you like being a part of the hustle and bustle of a busy event or just enjoy meeting new people, then you would have a blast volunteering at special events by helping with: check-in, children activities, event planning, auctions, and so much more (some events have mandatory orientation). Volunteers help with event set up and break down as well.

Connect with Us

Click the icon below to visit our Yew Dell Volunteers Facebook Group. Join for even more updates, stories, and fun!

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