The Conservatory of Flowers relies on the support of people like you to maintain its galleries and host special exhibits. Help the Conservatory thrive by making an individual donation or having your company sponsor an event.

Connect People to Plants as a Conservatory Ambassador

Volunteer Requirements

The Conservatory requests that volunteers commit to two shifts per month for one year. Most shifts are 2-3 hours long. In return, the Conservatory offers a flexible schedule, free lectures and social events, and a discount in the gift shop. All volunteers are required to meet with the Director of Volunteers & Education, complete an application at that meeting, and attend a training program. Trainings vary from an hour-long session for Horticulture, Greeter, and Special Exhibit volunteers, to seven 3-hour sessions, for Docents and Jungle Guides. The next training for Docents and Jungle Guides will be held on Wednesday afternoons in August and September, 2014. Click for more information on the training.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Jungle Guides introduce elementary school students to the wonders of the rainforest. Tours are held Tuesday‐Friday from September through May at 10:00 a.m. and cover plant adaptations and tropical ecosystems. Training details.
  • Docents educate adult visitors about the Conservatory’s fascinating collection of tropical plants and the importance of conserving the rainforest and San Francisco’s stunning historic greenhouse. Docent tours are offered Tuesday‐Sunday at 11:00, 12:30, and 2:30. Training details.
  • Weekend Greeters welcome visitors, take tickets, and answer general questions. This is the perfect opportunity if you enjoy chatting with people from all over the world and want to spend time in a beautiful living museum without needing to learn about the plants. Shifts are 10:00-1:00 or 1:00-4:00 on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Special Exhibit Docents educate visitors on the plants and features of the current special exhibit. Shifts are 10:00-1:00 or 1:00-4:00 Tuesday-Sunday.
  • Nursery volunteers work directly with our Nursery Specialists, usually on Mondays, to control pests, clean the galleries, and install exhibits. Some Nursery volunteers help maintain plant collections based on their horticultural experience and experience at the Conservatory.
  • Conservatory Clean-Up volunteers are needed from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on the last Saturday of every month to help weed the grounds, scrub pots, and do other important tasks. Volunteers must schedule their shift in advance. No dropins please.

To learn more and schedule a meeting at the Conservatory contact Erika Frank, Director of Volunteers & Education, at or (415) 637-4326. 


Volunteer Training Materials

Click on each attatchment to download the section. Some of the files are a large size, so they may take longer to download. 



History CoF and GG Park.pdf1.04 MB
General Botany Part I.pdf950.67 KB
General Botany Part 2.pdf473.58 KB
Plant Adaptations.pdf1.36 MB
Artists and Masons.pdf3.55 MB
Highland Tropics Gallery.pdf689.05 KB
Aquatics Gallery.pdf560.4 KB
Lowland Tropics Gallery.pdf1.37 MB
Potted Plants Gallery.pdf3.12 MB
Orchids.pdf1.64 MB
Tropical Ecosystem.pdf323.84 KB
Conservation.pdf222.85 KB
Touring Strategies.pdf116.42 KB
Suggested Reading List.pdf556.75 KB