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Become a Volunteer

Are you interested in plants and people? Come volunteer at Lyon Arboretum! Our volunteers play a vital role in the upkeep of the Arboretum’s nearly 200 acres, as well as its education programs, visitor services, plant propagation and research. As a volunteer you’ll have the chance to serve your community, steward and learn about nature, and meet new people — all while working in a lush tropical rainforest. Volunteers who have given a significant amount of their time are also invited to our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party, and may receive free admission and discounts to other local museums during the month of April (through the Oahu Museum Volunteer Leaders Program).

How to Become a Volunteer

  1. Read through and select a volunteer position(s). Take a look at the volunteer opportunities below to see which position(s)/department(s) best fit your interests, skills, and schedule. List more than one position/department if desired. Please note: not all positions are available at any given time.
  2. Fill out and submit the volunteer application. Download the appropriate volunteer application (either standard or single-event), complete it and SAVE it (as a PDF) to your computer.Then submit it by either using the submission form below, emailing it directly to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com, or faxing it to (808) 988-0462.
  3. Complete a volunteer interview. After receiving your application, one of our staff will contact you to schedule an in-person volunteer interview at the Arboretum.
  4. Start volunteering!

For more information on volunteering, please contact Lyon Arboretum’s Education Department at educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com or (808) 988-0461.

 

Submit Your Volunteer Application Below:

Your Full Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Upload Your Completed Volunteer Application

Volunteer Opportunities:

Below are the volunteer opportunities offered at Lyon Arboretum. Click on one of the position titles or scroll down the page to learn about the position’s time commitment, duties, qualifications and more. Please note that some positions may not currently be accepting new volunteers.

 

Grounds Volunteer

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  • Department: Grounds Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift. If interested in volunteering for only one day, please see Single Day/One-Time Volunteering.
  • Minimum Age: 14 years old. Minors need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian during their volunteer shift.
  • Availability: Monday-Friday between 8am-12pm or 1pm-4pm, or Saturdays between 9am-3pm.
  • Duties: Work alongside Lyon Arboretum’s Grounds Department, where you can assist in landscaping, trail restoration, invasive species removal, and more. Help keep our nearly 200 acres beautiful while receiving hands-on experience in gardening and learning about botany. As a Grounds Volunteer, you may be working at any given time in one of our specialty gardens (including the Ethnobotanical Garden, Herb and Spice Garden, and more) or the upper trails and forest sections of the Arboretum. If you would prefer to work in a particular garden area only, please mention in the application.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit, stand, and stoop for long periods of time. Ability to work outdoors for extended periods with potential exposure to sun, rain, and mosquitos. Ability to utilize small gardening hand tools (such as pruners or clippers). Experience or interest in learning to recognize common tropical and native Hawaiian plant species, weeds, and invasive plant species.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Grounds Volunteer.”

Elementary School Field Trip Volunteer

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  • Department: Education Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday between 8am*-1pm. Must be able to start shift by 9am (Field Trips typically run from 9am-12pm/12:30pm).
  • Duties: Work alongside Lyon Arboretum’s Education Department Staff, where you can assist with field trip equipment preparation and cleanup, curriculum delivery, classroom management, and/or general assistance for environmental field trips that service preschool and elementary-aged children. Gain experience working with children and teaching aspects of environmental education in an informal setting.
  • Qualifications: Experience or passion for working with elementary-age children and assisting with the delivery of environmental education. Ability to stand, walk and hike for long periods of time. Knowledge of basic environmental processes, plant identification, or a background in Hawaiian language or culture is ideal, but not required.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Elementary School Field Trip Volunteer.”

Children’s Garden Volunteer

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  • Department: Education Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Monday-Friday mornings between 8am-12pm.
  • Duties: Work in Lyon Arboretum’s Children’s Garden, where you can assist in landscaping and weeding the plant collections and garden areas that are utilized by our Education Department’s elementary field trips and children’s nature camps. This garden features many native Hawaiian plant species, as well as vibrant and unique tactile plants that stimulate child engagement with nature.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit, stand, and stoop for long periods of time. Ability to work outdoors for extended periods with potential exposure to sun, rain, and mosquitos. Ability to utilize small gardening hand tools (such as pruners or clippers). Experience or interest in learning to recognize common tropical and native Hawaiian plant species, weeds, and invasive plant species.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Children’s Garden Volunteer.”

Plant Records Data Entry Volunteer

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  • Department: Plant Records Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Monday-Friday between 8am-11:30am or 12:30pm-4pm.
  • Duties: Work with Lyon Arboretum’s Plant Records Department by assisting our botanist with entering plant data into the Arboretum’s botanical database system.
  • Qualifications: Ability to input large quantities of technical botanical information into a computer database system with speed and accuracy. Knowledge or familiarity with plant taxonomy or plant record keeping.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Plant Records Data Entry Volunteer.”

Facilities and Maintenance Volunteer

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  • Department: Facilities Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Monday-Thursday between 8am-11:30am or 12:30pm-4pm, or Saturdays between 9am-3pm.
  • Duties: Assist Lyon Arboretum’s Facilities Manager with day-to-day maintenance of the Arboretum’s buildings and equipment, including mechanical repairs, light carpentry, refuse and recycling, road and trail safety, and/or general janitorial maintenance.
  • Qualifications: Experience with or interest in carpentry, general contracting, automotive and power tool repair, safety hazard reduction, or other general facility maintenance activities.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Facilities and Maintenance Volunteer.”

Jams and Jellies Volunteer Group Member

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  • Department: N/A
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 3-4 hours of service per shift, and commit to attending the weekly workshops on Thursdays from 9am-1pm
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Weekly workshops are held every Thursday from 9am-1pm.
  • Duties: Become a member of Lyon Arboretum’s Jams and Jellies group, and learn to make the most delicious jams, jellies, chutneys, and marmalades from donated fruits and those found around the grounds. All preserved goods are prepared in our Visitor Center’s kitchen, and sold in the Arboretum’s Gift Shop and during the Arboretum’s bi-annual plant sales, and help raise thousands of dollars each year to support the Arboretum’s mission and programs.
    (Note: If you can’t donate your time, you could also donate your fruits! The Jams and Jellies Group are always looking for donation of the following items: Mango, Guava, Lilikoi, Jaboticaba, Peppers, Mulberry, and more.)
  • Qualifications: Experience with, or interest in creating jams and other preserved fruit goods. Ability to commit to the weekly jam-making workshop at the time mentioned above. Ability to work well alongside others in a group setting.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Jams and Jellies Volunteer.”

Hui Hana Lei Volunteer Group Member

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  • Department: N/A
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 3-4 hours of service per shift, and commit to attending the weekly workshops on Thursdays from 9am-1pm
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Weekly workshops are held every Thursday from 9am-1pm.
  • Duties: Become a member of Lyon Arboretum’s Hui Hana Lei group, and learn to make beautiful lei and other floral arrangements using fresh and dried flowers and vegetation from the Arboretum’s grounds. The floral work is done in our Visitor Center classroom, and sold in the Arboretum’s Gift Shop and during the Arboretum’s bi-annual plant sales, and through individual lei orders – all of which help raise thousands of dollars each year to support the Arboretum’s mission and programs.
  • Qualifications: Intermediate to advanced experience with lei-making, ikebana, or other flower arranging discipline. Ability to commit to the weekly lei/floral arrangement-making workshop at the time mentioned above. Ability to work well alongside others in a group setting.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Hui Hana Lei Volunteer.”

Greenhouse Volunteer

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  • Department: Greenhouse Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING VOLUNTEERS.
  • Duties: Assist the Greenhouse staff with potting seedlings, labeling plants, pruning, watering, and weeding plants in the Greenhouse.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit, stand, and stoop for long periods of time. Ability to utilize small gardening hand tools (such as pruners or clippers). Experience or ability to learn to recognize common tropical and native Hawaiian plant species, as well as unwanted weeds and invasive plant species.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Green House Volunteer.”

Native Hawaiian Garden Volunteer

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  • Department: Greenhouse Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING VOLUNTEERS.
  • Duties: Assist the Greenhouse staff in the maintenance of the Native Hawaiian Garden, which includes many indigenous and endangered Hawaiian plants. Duties include watering plants, hand removal of weeds and invasive species, and other garden maintenance tasks.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit, stand, and stoop for long periods of time. Ability to utilize small gardening hand tools (such as pruners or clippers). Experience or ability to learn to recognize common tropical and native Hawaiian plant species, as well as unwanted weeds and invasive plant species.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Native Hawaiian Garden Volunteer.”

Seed Lab Volunteer

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  • Department: Hawaiian Rare Plant Program (HRPP)
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old. Minors may be allowed to volunteer on a case-by-case basis.
  • Availability: CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING VOLUNTEERS.
  • Duties: Work alongside Lyon Arboretum’s HRPP staff in helping to conserve and store some of Hawaii’s rarest and most endangered native Hawaiian plant seeds. Duties include cleaning and counting seeds, sowing seeds for germination tests, and other lab work. Duties may also include caring for seedlings and potted plants in the Seed Lab’s endangered native plant greenhouse. Click here to learn more about the Seed Lab.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit or stand for long periods of time. Ability to work in a small, sterile and environmentally-controlled laboratory space for extended periods. Extreme attention to detail, and careful eye-hand coordination. Previous experience working in a lab, working with seed storage, and/or a familiarity with rare native Hawaiian plant taxonomy.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Seed Lab Volunteer.”

Micropropagation Lab Volunteer

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  • Department: Hawaiian Rare Plant Program (HRPP)
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old. Minors may be allowed to volunteer on a case-by-case basis.
  • Availability: CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING VOLUNTEERS.
  • Duties: Work alongside Lyon Arboretum’s HRPP staff in helping to conserve and propagate some of Hawaii’s rarest and most endangered native Hawaiian plants. Duties include propagating plants from seed or tissue culture, sterilizing incoming plant tissue/seeds, and other lab work. Click here to learn more about the Micropropagation Lab.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit or stand for long periods of time. Ability to work in a small, sterile and environmentally-controlled laboratory space for extended periods. Extreme attention to detail, and careful eye-hand coordination. Previous experience working in a lab, working with plant micropropagation, and/or a familiarity with rare native Hawaiian plant taxonomy.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Micropropagation Lab Volunteer.”

Plant Sale Volunteer

2014 Spring Plant Sale

2014 Spring Plant Sale

  • Department: N/A
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Any two or four-hour shift during Lyon Arboretum’s annual plant sales in April (the 3rd Saturday in April) and November (the 3rd Saturday in November).
  • Duties: Lyon Arboretum hosts two plant sales a year (in November and April) that are always in need of volunteers, in varying areas such as: Cashier and Tag Checker, Plant Holding Area, Children’s Booth, Traffic Control and Greeters. Volunteers have the chance to pick out plants for purchase prior to the sale opening to the public, and also receive a complimentary lunch. If interested, please fill out the Single Event Volunteer Application. Your email address will then be added to the Plant Sale announcement list, and you’ll have a chance to register for various volunteer shifts a few weeks before the sale.
  • Qualifications: All volunteers are welcome – some positions require certain skills/experience (ex: cashier volunteers should have previous money handling experience).
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Plant Sale Volunteer.”

Visitor’s Center Volunteer

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  • Department: Business Office
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service per shift, and commit to one month or more of volunteering..
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Monday-Friday between 8am-4pm, or Saturdays between 9am-3pm.
  • Duties: Assist Lyon Arboretum’s Business office with the upkeep and operations in the Visitor Center and Gift Shop. Duties include greeting visitors and providing them with general information about the Arboretum’s amenities and grounds, ensuring they receive a map and sign waiver forms, accepting donations, answering calls on the general Arboretum phone line, completing cashier transactions for items purchased in the gift shop, guided tours, or other charges. As the first point of contact for visitors, this position is vital in creating a positive and inviting atmosphere for anyone looking to enjoy the Arboretum.
  • Qualifications: Ability to greet and interact with the public in a positive and accommodating manner. Ability to operate a cash register and complete basic transactions, as well as answer the phone line and relay information and messages promptly and courteously. Previous experience in hospitality or retail preferred.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Visitor’s Center Volunteer.”

Docent (Tour Guide)

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  • Department: Education Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to commit to providing a one-hour tour a few times a year at minimum. Prior to leading tours, must commit to attending and completing the Docent Training Workshops.
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Availability: Guided Tours are typically held Monday-Saturday from 10am-11am, but on occasion special tours may be outside of this time frame.
  • Duties: Lyon Arboretum offers one-hour Guided Adult Tours to visitors on a daily basis. Docents provide these tours to adult groups of varying ability and interest, after receiving intensive training on the history, culture, and flora/fauna of the Arboretum and Manoa Valley. Our docents are crucial in providing visitors with an enjoyable, educational and enriching Arboretum experience. Gain extensive knowledge of this special place and all it has to offer, while having the chance to interact with nature-loving visitors from all over the world! Docent training workshops are held sporadically throughout the year – upcoming dates/times will be discussed during the volunteer interview.
  • Qualifications: Ability to walk and hike outdoors for an hour or more with potential exposure to sun, rain, and mosquitoes. Ability to interact comfortably with small and large groups of people of varying age, interest, background, and mobility. Ability to interpret the Arboretum’s natural features based on visitor interest or as they occur during the tour. Experience or interest in learning about the history of Manoa Valley and the Arboretum, Hawaiian language and culture, ecological processes, and common tropical and native Hawaiian plants and animals.
  • Application: Complete and submit the Standard Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Preferences section, mention “Docent.”

Single Day/One-Time Volunteering (for Individuals)

This opportunity/form is for individuals who are looking to volunteer on a one-time basis for a few hours or a full day at the Arboretum. Currently, only the Grounds Department is accepting one-time volunteers.
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  • Department: Grounds Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2 hours of service.
  • Minimum Age: 14 years old. Minors need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian during their volunteer shift.
  • Availability: Any two-hour (or more) increment on Saturdays between 9am-3pm
  • Duties: Work alongside Lyon Arboretum’s Grounds Department, where you can assist in landscaping, trail restoration, invasive species removal, and more. Help keep our nearly 200 acres beautiful while receiving hands-on experience in gardening and learning about botany.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit, stand, and stoop for long periods of time. Ability to work outdoors for extended periods with potential exposure to sun, rain, and mosquitos. Ability to utilize small gardening hand tools (such as pruners or clippers).
  • Application: Complete and submit the Single Event Volunteer Application to educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com. In the Volunteer Project/Community Project/Group Leader section, mention “Grounds Volunteer.”

Group Service Projects (for groups of 3+ people)

This opportunity is for groups of three of more individuals who would like to donate their time to a hands-on outdoor service project at the Arboretum.
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  • Department: Grounds Department
  • Time Commitment: Must be able to give at least 2-3 hours of service.
  • Minimum Age: 14 years old. Minors need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the duration of the project. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis (Ex: Eagle Scout Project led by adult scout leader).
  • Availability: Service projects are typically done on Saturdays from 9am-12pm, however weekdays and other timeframes are possible. Inquire for details.
  • Duties: Work alongside Lyon Arboretum’s Grounds Department, where you can assist in landscaping, trail restoration, invasive species removal, and more.
  • Qualifications: Ability to sit, stand, and stoop for long periods of time. Ability to work outdoors for extended periods with potential exposure to sun, rain, and mosquitos. Ability to utilize small gardening hand tools (such as pruners or clippers).
  • Schedule a Service Project: If your school, business or organization would like to plan an outdoor service project at Lyon Arboretum, please contact: educationlyonarboretum@gmail.com and include the following information:
    • Name of Group:
    • Name, Email, and Cell # of Main Contact:
    • Number of Adults, Number and Age of Minors (Estimate):
    • Date(s) and Timeframe Interested In:
    • Any other relevant information (any limitations? specific interests?):