Volunteer in Horticulture

Want to get outside? Do you believe that healthy ecosystems are essential to survival? Come join the volunteer teams in the Horticulture Department. You do not need to have extensive knowledge about plants to volunteer.

Ron Brzowski in Chestnut nurseryAmerican Chestnut Nursery 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.

chestnutsBy 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: Thursdays, starting in April, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., weekend potential

Handyperson – Assistance is needed with the performance of various building maintenance projects and one-time special projects.  From painting benches, building birdhouses, crafting trellises to refinishing surfaces, this group is constantly called upon. This is also a great opportunity to work in a shop environment. Ability to operate power tools safely is a necessity. Open to craftsmen who would like to complete projects as their schedules allow.

Click here to access our list of projects

When: year-round; mutually agreeable time

Karen Hoover June 2014 (2)Horticulture Group – 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. Some knowledge of gardening is helpful. Regular access to email is required.

When: year-round; Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


2012 volunteers 100_4474Natural 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.

When: 2014 – Sundays, June 1, July 13, August 3, September 14, October 12, November 9, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Plant Collection Inventory– Help the Plant Records department with the ongoing inventory of Tyler plant collections. Tasks involve label maintenance on trees and shrubs and confirming plant locations on printed maps. Job requires walking throughout the Tyler grounds within the deer fence. Walking will be both on paved paths and uneven ground in plant beds, as well as bending to access plant labels. Some knowledge of tree and shrub ID helpful, but an interest to learn plant names is more important.

When: Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Training will commence in Fall 2014. Please review this posting at a later date.

rhodo workGardener– Assist with the continuing renovation and renewal of the display gardens. Work with Tyler’s Gardeners to prune, plant, mulch, and care for our display borders and woodlands. 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. Once accepted into the program, you will be required to complete 8 hours of on the job training. Some knowledge of gardening is helpful. Regular access to email is required.

When: Tuesdays, April to October, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Trail Monitor – Help keep Tyler’s trails safe and in good shape. No experience is necessary. Wear boots, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Bring gloves and eye protection, if you have them. Pre-registration encouraged. Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older.

When: 2014 – Saturdays, March 15, June 7 and November 8, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Veg-Garden-WEBVegetable Garden Assistants– Help Tyler’s Vegetable Gardener tend our ¼ acre educational garden and assist with bed preparation, planting, mulching, weeding, thinning, watering, composting, harvesting and delivering produce to the Media Food Bank.

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, May to October, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  

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