lend a hand!
The volunteers at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center help to extend the reach of our environmental stewardship practices through land management, education, and outreach. We welcome people from all walks of life to apply. With a small team of employees, we rely on the 2,000+ annual volunteer service hours to get the job done!
Fall Native Plant Sale: September 20-22
Help us run the 32nd Fall Native Plant Sale - where the horticulture staff and volunteers at Reflection Riding offer an impressive variety of trees, shrubs, and perennials. Volunteers will assist with various tasks - everything from parking to helping customers check out with their garden goodies. Click here to sign up for volunteering at the Fall Native Plant Sale.
Tennessee River Rescue + Privet Pull: October 6
Help Reflection Riding celebrate the 30th year of the Tennessee River Rescue by cleaning the Lookout Creek zone on canoes! Volunteers will use grabbers to remove plastic bottles, metal scraps, and other trash from the embankments. We've also added a privet pulling shift for any overflow volunteers. Though it's not strictly water related, removing invasive exotic plants (and putting natives in their place) helps promote habitat for pollinators and other native animals. Our Invasive Species Expert Byron will be on-site to educate and work with our land-dwelling volunteers. Click here to sign up for this volunteer day!
ongoing volunteer jobs
Grounds and Garden Work
Our greenhouse and gardens volunteers love to play in the dirt. Between preparing for our biannual Native Plant Sales, removing invasive plants (such as privet and English ivy), and maintaining the informal native gardens throughout our 317 acres, we always need grounds and garden volunteers. We require no prior experience, but a passion for native plants and gardening will be helpful. Click here to sign up for grounds and garden shifts.
If you like playing outside and fixing things, you'll love working with our Grounds and Facilities crew. Because tree falls and maintenance issues can arise unexpectedly, no volunteer shift in this department is ever the same. Past jobs have included mowing, wood chipping, power washing, trail maintenance, and boardwalk repair. Click here to sign up for maintenance/facilities shifts.
Our organization educates 16,000 students per year about the connection between the choices they make and their local ecology. Environmental educators must have a science background and some experience working with children. Our volunteers train under the director of education and work their way up from shadowing field trips to teaching their own school groups. This position requires weekday availability - at least 3 hours every other week. To get started as an environmental educator, fill out a volunteer application, and we'll schedule an interview.
Our visitor services volunteers provide an excellent first impression of Reflection Riding for members and guests. They help people understand the value of our work and help them plan out their day in nature. To begin volunteering in visitor services, fill out a volunteer application, and we'll schedule an interview.
From walking opossums to feeding our animal ambassadors, our wildlife assistants take on a wide range of responsibility, depending on experience. Wildlife volunteers must have one year of animal care at a similar organization, such as a zoo or nature center. To become a volunteer wildlife assistant, fill out a volunteer application, and we'll schedule an interview.
From backyard films to silent auctions, our events are always a special kind of wild! When we plan a celebration of any kind, there's always a need for volunteers to help us prepare for, assist at, and break down the event. Some of our signature events throughout the year include Stand Up for Conservation, Earth Day Festival, a bi-annual Spring & Fall Native Plant Sale, and Festival of the Jack O'Lanterns. To volunteer for special events, apply to volunteer and we'll notify you of needs as they come up.
Donate your writing skills for a worthy cause. Writing for our organization is a great chance to build a portfolio while informing members and supporters of the latest news and ways to support Reflection Riding. To get started, fill out a volunteer application (including any writing samples you'd like us to see), and we'll schedule a time to discuss.
If you have a specialized skill, such as social media/marketing, photography, fundraising, IT/web skills, or graphic design, please fill out a volunteer application and let us know.
how to volunteer
If you want to help out in grounds/gardens, maintenance/facilities, or at special events, simply click the sign-up link under each of the opportunities above, and you'll have a chance to fill out an application (if you're new to the system) and sign up for a shift all at once.
If you're interested in one of the opportunities that require more of a screening process, simply apply to volunteer and our coordinator will be in touch with you shortly. If you're new with us, that means a 15-30 minute phone interview and a more specialized training once you've been placed.
We will work hard to make sure this is a quick process - we know that many of you can't wait to get started.