Docent Program

Please visit the San Diego Botanic Garden docents and volunteer
Web site
Click here to enter website

Click Here for SDBG Docent Cumulative Index
and Docent Bloom Board
Information and links.

Become a Docent at San Diego Botanic Garden
Classes begin Thursday, January 19
9:30 am – 1 pm

Gain in-depth knowledge about the unique collection of plants at this 37-acre botanic wonderland. Meet others who share your interest in the natural world, while learning from experts in a variety of specialties. Experience the satisfaction and personal accomplishment that comes from joining such a stimulating and worthwhile organization, right in the heart of Encinitas.

Docent activities include planning and working on special events, volunteering in garden beautification, and helping the Garden run smoothly. Docents are also encouraged (but not required) to lead garden tours. To each of these activities docents bring valuable leadership made possible through this specialized training. Classes take place in the morning at San Diego Botanic Garden on the following dates:

January 19
In troduction to Docent Program & Garden Overview

February 2
Botany Bootcamp & Larabee Legacy

February 16
Palms and Cycads

March 2
Mediterranean Climate Gardens

March 16
CA Natives Plants & Firescape Gardens                           

March 30
Trees in the Garden and the Herb Garden

April 13
Bamboo and Subtropical Fruit Gardens  

April 27

Space is limited, so register today by contacting Liz Woodward, SDBG Docent Training Coordinator, at or 760/ 420-1455.

Cost: $60 fee for 8 classes. Pre-requisites prior to enrollment required.

The classes are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on each of these days allowing for a recess and lunch break.  There is a $60 fee to cover the 8-class series that must be paid in advance; you may stop by the office to sign up and pay or you may call the office at 760/ 436-3036 and speak to Jill Gardner x213. For further information contact Liz Woodward, Docent Training Coordinator, via mail to or telephone 760/ 420-1455.  

Prior to beginning the docent training you should have completed 10 hours of volunteer work at the San Diego Botanic Garden in addition to attending a Volunteer Orientation Meeting plus turned in your Volunteer Forms and Volunteer Background Check.  

About San Diego Botanic Garden
The San Diego Botanic Garden is a beautiful garden oasis nestled on 37-acres in the midst of Encinitas. Visitors enjoy restful vistas, flowering trees, majestic palms, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Thanks to our mild Southern California climate, plants from all over the world thrive here. Our diverse topography provides a wide variety of microclimates giving visitors the sensation of strolling through a tropical rainforest to hiking in the high-desert. Four miles of trails wind through 29 uniquely themed gardens including the nationally-acclaimed Hamilton Children’s Garden.

Requirements to become a San Diego Botanic Garden Docent:

  • Become a member of the Garden. This must be continued while you are an active docent
  • Complete all 8 docent classes
  • Attend a volunteer orientation meeting. For information about the next volunteer orientation meeting click here
  • Volunteer 80 hours prior to receiving Docent status
  • Orientation in: Admissions and the Garden Shops
  • Volunteer for one Special Event
  • Volunteer at any Saturday Garden Beautification or Wednesday Special Work Party
  • Ten (10) hours of volunteer time must be completed before starting the first docent class
  • Have a completed background check and volunteer application on file

Docent Meetings — Everyone Welcome

First Wednesday of the Month
9:30 am – 12 pm * Arrive at 11 am for the program
Business meeting 9:30-10:30
Speaker 11-12

January 4
Jeremy Spath a former gardener at Quail Botanic Garden who now has a business called Water's Path Landscape, will share his love of studying plants in the wild.  He is attracted to succulents, cycads, bromeliads, palms and bamboos and will discuss the use of many of these exceptional plants in their natural habitat as well as our San Diego landscapes.    


February 1  
Teresa Everett from Moosa Creek Nursery  will share information about how to use native plants to develop a drought friendly, sustainable landscape.  She will discuss soils, plant selection, design, installation, and maintenance of a beautiful native plant landscape.  Moosa Creek is a certified small business enterprise that exclusively grows California native plants for habitat restorations, commercial and home gardens. 


March 1 
San Diego Botanic Garden hosted a tour to Madagascar in November of 2016.  Attendees will share photos and stories of their once in a life time adventure.  Madagascar is home to dancing lemurs, landscapes studded with mighty baobab trees and unusual reptiles and insects. This amazing biological diversity is supported by landscapes and ecosystems that include rain forests,  cloud forests, spiny forests, deserts, savannas, wetlands, beaches and coral reefs.