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, September 14, 2017 
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:

September 14
Introduction to Docent Program & Garden Overview

September 21 
Botany Bootcamp & Larabee Legacy

October 5 
Mediterranean Climate Gardens

October 12 
Trees in the Garden and the Herb Garden

October 26 
       CA Natives Plants & Firescape Gardens                            

November 9
Bamboo and Subtropical Fruit Gardens

November 16 
Succulent and Desert Gardens  

November 30 
Palms and Cycads 


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. 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.  

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
  • Volunteer for one Special Event
  • 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

April 5: Come and learn about Sam the giant Galapagos Tortoise, the Garden’s biggest goodwill ambassador. Leslie Duval will enlighten us on the Duval’s very special relationship with Sam. A heartwarming story of true friendship lost and found inspired Leslie to write a children’s book, “Too Big to Lose.” Proceeds from book sales benefit the San Diego Botanic Garden to help care for Sam who might live another 100 years!

May 3: Meet Yvonne Savio, a master gardener, who comes to us from Pasadena. She has a weekly blog called Gardening in LA. For 36 years she worked for the University of California in the horticulture field, helping to revitalize the Los Angeles County Master Garden Program. Yvonne has traveled abroad, visiting many famous gardens and events. She will share her love of English gardens and the famous Chelsea Flower Show at our Docent Meeting.

June 7: Come and enjoy our Docent Potluck with all your friends at the Garden.