Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Every day, volunteers contribute to Tyler in varying ways, from guiding tours to assisting with the Gardeners. Below are jobs that are currently open to accept volunteers.  Please review carefully prior to filling out our Volunteer Application form.

Contact Julia Lo Ehrhardt at if you have questions.

Remember to sign-up for our monthly volunteer electronic newsletter to stay current on news and upcoming event sign-ups.

Outdoor Volunteer Jobs:

1. Ambassadors

Join the team that provides engaging interpretation of Tyler Arboretum by answering questions and providing suggestions for their visit. Training begins in June and end in August. Contact Julia Lo Ehrhardt

When: Fridays, Saturdays from April to end of October, morning and afternoon shifts. Special events coverage during the week or weeknight – on occasion.

2. American Chestnut Orchard Tenders

The loss of healthy and productive native chestnuts in eastern forests may have been the greatest ecological disaster in recent human history. Tyler’s volunteers support the arboretum’s cooperation with The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) who’s goal is to breed blight resistance from the Chinese chestnut tree into the American chestnut tree, while maintaining the American chestnut’s characteristics. A chestnut orchard was planted on site in 1997 with seedlings from Pennsylvania.
The TACF program is now providing advanced hybrids that are seven generations into the process of capturing resistance to the chestnut blight.

By weeding, mulching, and pruning 150 trees, Tyler’s volunteers assure the viability of a reservoir of the American chestnut. Nuts harvested each fall from these trees support breeding at other locations around the state. Tyler’s volunteers also learn about the disease that devastated our native chestnut as well as participate in controlled pollination activities to create first-generation hybrids.

A brief walk through of the work area and review of tasks are encouraged prior to deciding to join the group.

When: starting in April, Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Families with youngsters between the ages of 12 and 16 welcome.

3. Butterfly House Guide and Netter

Are you personable and love to be around insects, in particular butterflies and caterpillars? Then this may be where you should spend your summer. Butterfly House Guides engage visitors in a manner that is welcoming, positive and educational. They help the public become aware of the butterfly lifecycle and how they depend on plants to complete their lifecycle. Good health with ability to stand, walk and stoop for 2 hours at one time. Must be people oriented and enjoy engaging diverse volunteers and visitors including children. Have an email account that is checked on a regular basis (once per week).

When: Many shifts available from mid-July to Labor Day. Training will be posted and is usually in June.

4. Docents

Docents are teaching guides. Do you find it easy to talk to groups of people and love to learn about plants, history and conservation? Does seeing smiling faces and fielding questions your idea of a fun activity? If you answered yes, then you should join the Docent team. We are looking for people to guide tours on Fridays and/or Saturdays and help our visitors explore Tyler. Training is provided. Must be able to walk 2 miles without difficulty and love the outdoors. To find out more about the Docent Program, contact Julia Lo Ehrhardt

When: Fridays, Saturdays from April to the end of October, morning and afternoon shifts. Group tours during the weekday – occasional

5. Edible Garden (New)

Want to learn or hone your gardening skills and help visitors learn about vegetables (some fruit)? This is the volunteer job for you. Provide day to day support to the gardener(s) in the Edible Garden, both in the vegetable display as well as other planting beds. Good health with physical dexterity, ability to bend and kneel, and tolerance for working outdoors. We are looking for volunteers with a positive outlook and like to be creative. Some experience with vegetable gardening, plant ID and basic pruning and display planting is ideal. Master Gardener training, a plus.

When: One-half day per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 12pm. Minimum of 8 hours commitment per month from April to November.

6. Exhibition Maintenance

From Tree Houses to Fairy Houses and much more, we need your help to maintain them. Help by re-stocking materials, dusting, wiping, and general tidying up. Schedule is flexible. We provide all materials. This is perfect for our volunteers that are available on the weekends or who would like to work as a family.

When: seasonal; mutually agreeable time.

7. Horticulture Crew

Join our dedicated and fun-loving Horticulture volunteer group in the care and upkeep of our landscape. You must be able to walk and stand for extended amount of time outdoors (rain or shine). Lifting of 20 to 30 lbs. is common. Tasks include mulching, invasive removal and events set-up. Some knowledge of gardening is helpful.

When: year-round on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m. – noon.

8. Natural Areas Restoration

According to Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, garlic mustard, mile-a-minute, burning bush and Canada thistle are some of the worst invasives in Pennsylvania. Without vigilant removal and care of natural areas, we stand to lose natural habitats and therefore diversity. Join our crew to help remove invasive plants from our meadows and woodlands so that our wildflowers and native plants can survive. You will learn how to remove invasives and identify native plants. Regular access to email is required.

When: Saturday — April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, Aug 17, Sept 21, Oct 19 and Nov 16. Minimum commitment of 5 Saturdays.

9. Program Gardens

Volunteer in our gardens that support programs: Pollinator Garden and Butterfly Garden. You will also provide weekend support for the Edible Garden when needed. Good health with physical dexterity, ability to bend and kneel, and tolerance for working outdoors. We are looking for volunteers with a positive outlook and like to be creative. Some experience with gardening, plant ID and display planting is ideal. Master Gardener training, a plus.
When: Thursdays and Saturdays starting in April and ending in early November. 10am to 12pm

10. Special Events

Do you love community events? Do you find talking to people energizing? Then this is for you. Volunteers are needed to assist with all phases of our special events: event set-up/take down, staffing information stations, leading activities, assisting visitors, assembling gift bags and much more. This is usually a half-day commitment and Tyler provides on-the-job training. Special event volunteer opportunities are posted in the monthly volunteer e-newsletter usually 2 months ahead of the event. To sign up for our monthly volunteer e-newsletter, click here. Suitable for Families and Youths. The following are some of our major events and time of year we host them:

February – Pancake Breakfast
March/April – Eggstravaganza
May – Plant Sale
June – Fairies and Wizards
July – Garden Grown
August – Bugs and Butterflies
October – Pumpkin Days

11. Spider Watch (New)

Provide intermittent support for research on the ecology of the Pennsylvania purse-web spider, Atypus snetsingeri Sarno 1973. For the past few years Tyler’s unique large colony of purse-web spiders have been closely observed to reveal a lively life cycle and discover new spider behaviors. An overarching theme of this work is about finding ways to do non-destructive field research – without harming the animals or their immediate environment.

The primary focus for 2019 will be: detailing the annual ballooning event in March or April (mass spiderling emergence); locating, marking and observing webs for specific surveys; and assisting with development of non-destructive methods for population surveys and making direct observations of spiders and their webs.

When: As scheduled (dawn to 10am).

Interested? Here’s what to do next:

12. Trail Monitor

Love to hike our 17 miles of trails and want to help in maintaining them? If you are handy or have experience in trail clearing, join the Trail Monitor group. Volunteers are assigned different trails to monitor and maintain at their own schedule. Tools are supplied. Must be able to work alone. Monitors need to be physically fit and be able to carry tools in and out of work sites.

When: Mutually agreed upon time.




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