Volunteer Opportunities

The Wilbur D. May Arboretum is filled to the brim with a large variety of trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers requiring thousands of hours of tender loving care each year. A large volunteer base is critical to keep the gardens in prime condition all year round. Last year alone, volunteers spent close to 5,500 hours maintaining the gardens, giving tours, and participating in community events. There is no shortage of work to be done, and we can always use YOUR help!

Here are some ways you can get involved:


Arboretum volunteers are required to fill out a volunteer application and background check before being cleared to begin volunteering. Once cleared, a brief orientation is required with the volunteer coordinator, and you will be asked to attend a session on the history of Wilbur May and the gardens with the Arboretum Horticulturist Bill Carlos.

Once established, volunteers arrive as their schedules permit on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays between 8am and noon. Volunteer tasks are lined out on a bulletin board each day in the Arboretum office and tools are available so that volunteers can work at their own pace. Staff and seasoned volunteers are available to answer questions, and periodic training on various subjects is offered - as well as fun volunteer appreciation events!

Some sample volunteer tasks include pruning, deadheading, raking, weeding, sweeping, planting, and a variety of other general garden beautification projects.


The mission of Interpreters of the Arboretum is to inspire visitors and support the educational programming at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden. We offer a variety of positions for school and community programs, such as "Discover the Arboretum Educator" and "Weekend Nature Walk Tour Guide". Gain hands on experience in environmental education, explore your passion for nature, and inspire the community! Contact Bill Carlos @ (775) 785-4153 or bcarlos@washoecounty.us for more information and docent training requirements. 


We are always excited when an organization or local business would like to spend some time volunteering as a group at the Arboretum. Spend anywhere from a couple hours to an afternoon helping us accomplish a larger task while having fun in a beautiful setting! Weekdays are often best.


The Arboretum hosts a Keep it Clean and Green community cleanup in spring and often a bulb planting in fall. Keep an eye on this page for updates!

Contact us for more info or to get started!
Denise Evans

Washoe County Parks Volunteer Coordinator
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno, NV 89503
(775) 785-4512 x107 phone
(775) 785-4707 fax