• Image 1

Docent Program

San Diego Botanic Garden


Become a Docent at
San Diego Botanic Garden

Classes begin Thursday, September 20, 2018
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 20
Larabee House
San Diego Botanic Garden & Docent Training Overview
Liz Woodward, Docent Training Coordinator, Docent 2003
Docent Website & Hours Recording
Nick Ruddick, Docent Website Coordinator, Docent 2009

September 27

Larabee House
Larabee Legacy
Sally Sandler, Garden Historian, Docent 2007
Author of “Sowing the Seeds of Wonder”
Botany Bootcamp
Bill Searles, Docent 2013

October 4

Larabee House
Mediterranean Climates and Gardens
Allan Dodds, Docent 2009 and Mo Price, Docent 2001
SDBG Tour Guides – Mike Blanco, Docent 2014

October 11
Larabee House
Trees of the San Diego Botanic Garden
Dave Ehrlinger, Former SDBG Director of Horticulture (2001-2014)
Herb Garden
Mary Friestedt, Docent 2001

October 25

Ecke Building
California Native Plants
Kay Worley, Docent 2000
Native Plants/Native People & Firescape Garden
Mary Friestedt, Docent 2001

November 8

Larabee House
Succulents and the Desert Gardens
Anne Spindel, Docent 2003 and Linda Stewart, Docent 2008
Children’s Programs and Gardens
Susanne Brueckner, SDBG Director of Education

November 15

Larabee House
Bamboo Garden
Barry Martin, Docent 2011
Subtropical Fruit Garden
Tandy Pfost, Docent 2012

November 29

Ecke Building
Cycads and Palms
Robert Kopfstein, Docent 2001 and Jason Kubrock, Honorary Docent
Meet Sam the Tortoise
Pot Luck Lunch

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 liz@woodwardweb.net 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

October 3: Stacy Fattaleh, Fall Plant Sale Chair for 10+ years, will wow us with some of the special new plants that the Propagation Team will be introducing at the Fall Plant Sale this year. Exciting!

November 7: Holiday craft sale and potluck lunch.

December:  No meeting due to Garden of Lights crafts in the Ecke Building.