“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

The Yakima Area Arboretum was founded by volunteers in 1967 and continues to depend on volunteers to help maintain its many trees, flowers, and display gardens.

Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, earn community service hours, protect your local environment, increase your knowledge of plants and trees, and help maintain and enhance one of Central Washington’s greatest treasures: The Yakima Area Arboretum.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are so many ways to volunteer at the Arboretum! Here are a few of the areas you can help us in-

  • Gift Shop/Visitor Services – Act as an Arboretum and City of Yakima ambassador.  Hundreds of tourists visit the Arboretum each week and here is your chance to leave a good impression.  Greet visitors, answer questions about the Arboretum and greater community, answer phones, and process gift shop purchases.
  • Events – Help make our events amazing! Volunteers are critical to the success of our events. They provide behind-the-scenes support and can also work with the public during the event. Volunteers are needed for most aspects of the event process.
  • Grounds and Gardening – Help keep the Arboretum beautiful! Volunteers help our Groundskeepers with weeding, mulching, planting, and other ongoing maintenance of our grounds and collections. Volunteers can also help with collection inventory by helping to label trees as needed.
  • Education – Help us inspire people to connect with nature.   Education volunteers teach classes, give nature walks, help with community outreach, assist with Nature Day Camp, Kids Nature Night and/or any one of our many educational programs.

Not all volunteers fall into the categories listed above or may wish to assist in more than just one of them. Volunteers are always welcome to come up with their own unique ways to contribute. The Arboretum values any time a volunteer has to give.

Please contact the Arboretum for more information

Volunteer Qualifications
  • We ask that you arrive on time and be ready to work. 
  • Most volunteer hours take place between 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, but evening and Sunday hours can often be arranged.
  • Hours vary from four (4) to eight (8) hour shifts.
  • Dress for your assigned tasks and/or the weather.
  • Most volunteer work requires physical activity. Let us know if you have physical limitations.
  • Be friendly and engaging with others. Our volunteers are ambassadors of the Arboretum while on duty.
  • All Volunteers are subject to a basic background check. Volunteers working with children/youth may be subject to a more comprehensive background check should programs require.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 12 and 14 must be supervised by a parent/guardian or other designated adult. Volunteers under the age of 12 will be considered on a case by case basis.
Court-Ordered Community Service

As a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization the Yakima Area Arboretum qualifies as a court-ordered community service provider. Volunteers that successfully complete their community service hours will be given a letter on Arboretum letterhead verifying the number of hours they have worked.

Opportunities are available for youth 12 years of age and older.  Individuals between the ages of 12 and 14 years must perform their community service hours under the direct supervision of a parent/guardian. 

Please be advised: community service opportunities can be limited due to weather/season, available projects, and/or time constraints. Every effort is made to accommodate Community Service requests if we are able to.

The Yakima Area Arboretum DOES NOT accept court-ordered community service for these types of violations: felonies, sex crimes, violent crimes, animal abuse/cruelty, and crimes involving children.