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!

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:

Cost: $50 for 8 classes held bi-weekly from 9:30 am – 1 pm. Pre-requisites are required.

2016 Classes take place in the morning at SDBG on the following dates:

  • January 28 – Orientation to Docent Program - Linda Stewart
  • February 11 – Botany Boot camp - Bill Searles
  • February 25 – Trees in the Garden and the Herb Garden - Dave Ehrlinger and Mary Friestedt
  • March 10 – Mediterranean Climate Gardens - Allan Dodds and Mo Price
  • March 24 – Succulents - Phyllis Fleshing and May Friestedt
  • April 14 – Bamboo and Tropical Plants - Peter Jones and Tandy Pfost
  • April 28 – CA Natives & Firescapes - Mary Roper and Kay Worley
  • May 5 – Palms and Cycads - Robert Kopfstein and Jason Kubrock

Space is limited, so register today by contacting Operations Administrative Assistant Kristina Metzger at or 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.

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

July: NO meeting

August 3: Popular speaker Bill Toone creator of ECOLIFE Conservation will talk about his experiences helping to create a national park in a remote village in Madagascar. Bill has promoted conservation work in many remote regions of the world. Locals might remember Bill for his work with endangered California Condors at the San Diego Zoo. 

September 7:  Docent Mo Price recently toured Australia and will contrast the botanical gardens of Australia with SDBG including plant collections, architecture, volunteer activities and challenges.  She will share amusing and interesting facts from the gardens and parks ‘Down Under.”