Docent Program

Please visit the San Diego Botanic Garden website for
docents and volunteers

Click here to enter website for docents and volunteers

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

Dinner for Docents and Volunteers Video

Watch the 2014 Dinner for Docents and Volunteers Video
Click Here

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. The next meeting is November 8 at 9:30 am
  • Volunteer 80 hours prior to receiving Docent status
  • Two hour orientation in: Admissions, Gift Shop and Propagation
  • Volunteer for one shift at any 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 Training Classes

The San Diego Botanic Garden offers a eight-class series to train volunteers interested in becoming docents. While each class is self contained, plan on attending all eight in sequence. If you miss one, it can be made up during the next series:

  • Introduction to Docent Program and Gardens
  • Botany Boot Camp and Herbs
  • Deserts and Succulents
  • Tropical Rain Forests, Palms, and Cycads
  • California Natives and Firescapes
  • Mediterranean Climates
  • Subtropical Fruit and Bamboo
  • Conservation and Trees in the Garden

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 making a commitment to such a stimulating and worthwhile organization.

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 only through this specialized training.

Before starting the classes, you need to have volunteered a minimum of 10 hours in the Garden and it is highly recommended that you attend a volunteer orientation.

Classes take place in the morning at SDBG on the following dates:


Fall Schedule

  • September 11

  • September 25
    Botany and Herbs

  • October 9

  • October 23
    Palms and Cycads

  • November 6
    CA Natives and Firescape

  • November 20
    Bamboo and Tropical Fruit

  • December 4
    Mediterranean Climate

  • December 18
    Trees in the Garden

Sign up today!
Space is limited, so start today by contacting Operations Administrative Assistant Michelle Kinney at
760/ 436-3036, x206 to add your name to the roster.

For more specific information, contact Docent Training Coordinator Linda Stewart at, or 858/ 488-8234.


Docent Meetings — Everyone Welcome

The docent/volunteer meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, except June and December when it starts at 10:00 a.m. and is a potluck. There is NO meeting in July. Normally there is a special presentation which begins at 11:00 a.m., after the general business and announcements have concluded.

First Wednesday of the Month
Arrive at 11am for the program

September 3: Shana Lipner, a Clinical Herbalist and Health Educator, will discuss a wide assortment of food, medicine and poisonous plants, how to identify them and their look-a-likes. If they are a food or medicine, she will show Docents how to use them.

October 1: Regular meeting. No speaker. We will be planning for the big Fall Plant Sale on October 18 and 19.

November 5: Volunteers from Project Wildlife will bring
rescued crow and ravens to our meeting. They will discuss the habitats and intelligence of these interesting birds as well as present us with information about Project Wildlife.

December 3: Join us for our annual Holiday Potluck for volunteers and docents of the Garden.