Volunteers provide vital outreach, administrative and operational support for our organization. By volunteering, you can help us build awareness, raise funds, plan events, and participate in community outreach opportunities. In addition, offer hands-on volunteer opportunities for gardeners who are looking to get their hands dirty.

How to Volunteer

It’s easy! Just fill out our online form by clicking the button below. We’ll add you to our SignUp Genius list and email you when a volunteer opportunity arises


Upcoming volunteer opportunities with WBG


We use the SignUp Genius platform to manage our volunteer lists for our various needs. Please see below for links to any upcoming volunteer opportunities with us:


Fridays at Floyd’s, 8/16

THe Fly Market, 8/25


ongoing Volunteer opportunities

at the avish estate


We are in need of regular, committed volunteers to assist with plant upkeep at the gardens out at the Avish Estate. Gardening experience preferred. Below are the times when we will be hosting volunteers.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

9-11am and 12-2pm


** As The Avish Estate is a private residence, please do not visit the property outside of the designated times for volunteer work or WBG hosted classes/workshops. If you need directions to the property, please contact us at info@waterfrontgardens.org

Thank you!


Doing physical work with us, but haven’t signed a waiver yet?

Download it below and bring it to your volunteer session:

WBG Volunteer Waiver

garden installation orientation sessions


We’re looking for a group of volunteers to help transport, plant, water, and mulch the new gardens on the WBG site in late August and September.

All interested volunteers must attend an informational meeting and training on EITHER

Saturday, August 24, 2 – 3:45 pm OR Monday, August 26, 5:30 – 7:15 pm

For more information and to sign up, follow the link below

Sign Up Here


annual volunteer appreciation night, M. 9/16


Let us celebrate YOU and all that you have done for the Gardens this year.

The annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner will be on Monday, September 16 from 6-8pm at the Graeser Family Education Center.


For more info and to RSVP, please follow the link below:



inaugural Wbg garden guide (docent) training class


The WBG Garden Guides will serve as an essential part of the daily operations of the botanical gardens once they are officially open to the public.

We are seeking dependable, committed individuals who are willing and able to help us educate and inspire our guests and ensure that they have a positive garden experience.

In order to graduate, prospective Garden Guides are required to complete all the courses in the fall training, including the “graduation” on October 2, where they will demonstrate their skills for WBG staff.

The schedule for fall Garden Guide Training is as follows:

  • W. 9/4, 6-7:30pm – History of the WBG site, Land, and Surrounding Neighborhood
  • Th. 9/12, 6-7:30pm – History of the Organization and People, 1996-present
  • Sat. 9/21, 1-2:30pm – History of the Master Plan and Construction Phases, Looking ahead, Sponsorships and Funding
  • T. 9/24, 6-8pm – Plantings of Phase 1, Garden Etiquette
  • W. 10/2, 6-8pm – Makeup day and Graduation (NOTE: It is not permitted to make up more than one missed unit. If you don’t need to make up a unit, please arrive at 7pm for the graduation, where you will demonstrate your guiding ability)

** Food will be provided during sessions

*** All training sessions include guide practice


For more detailed information on the program, please refer to the following documents:


Garden Guide Program Policies

Garden Guide Application


To sign up, follow the link below:


Sign Up for the Training Sessions


Any other inquiries pertaining to this training may be directed to Allison Whitehouse, awhitehouse@waterfrontgardens.org


The Cultivators


Conceived in January 2016, the Waterfront Botanical Gardens Cultivators is a young professionals group for earth-lovers who are interested in connecting with other like-minded friends on the principles of environmental education, sustainability, and strengthening cultural life in our hometown.


Learn more 

Volunteer of the Season

The Volunteer of the Season honor began in our e-newsletter in 2017, to show more gratitude to more of our amazing volunteers. Each season (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall), we select a volunteer from our base who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and support for the project through their hard work.

janice staugas

Janice grew up in the fine hardware industry, and that’s where she discovered her love of trees. She

has been a member and a volunteer of WBG since 2016. She gave two short talks on Native Trees of Kentucky at Cave Hill in 2017 before the Trees of Cave Hill wagon tours. She currently works at the Avish on Wednesdays and waters the WBG plants currently growing out at Hidden Hill once a week.

Janice is multi-talented and enjoys watering, weeding, planting at the Avish, setting up tables, parking cars, checking people in at events, and talking to potential new members at fairs and festivals. She has enjoyed meeting other WBG volunteers because they have been so much fun to work with.
Her favorite other garden that she has visited is the Biltmore Estate, which includes the “Cradle of Forestry” in the Pisgah Forest, which was once part of the Estate.

Dot Wade Volunteer of the Year Award

Dot Wade was a volunteer board member for Botanica Inc. for many years. Her spirit lives on through the amazing volunteers who keep this project moving forward.

Congratulations to Tavia Cathcart Brown, our 2018 Dot Wade Volunteer of the Year awardee!

Tavia is a seasoned professional with almost two decades experience in education, horticulture,
conservation and community leadership. Since early 2008, Tavia has been the Executive Director
of the 170-acre Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen, Kentucky.
Tavia’s educational outreach includes a show that she proposed to Kentucky Educational
Television. She is the host, writer and garden consultant for KET’s 90-minute feature-length
show called “Kentucky’s Secret Gardens.”
Tavia has served on Waterfront Botanical Garden’s Horticulture Committee since its inception in
2014. She has been the lead designer on the Education Gardens, which include the Pollinator
Garden and Native Plant Garden, as well as designing other Phase I gardens. Tavia works
closely with Bob Hill, Perkins+Will and Clinton Deckard to plan the future gardens as well as
their implementation schedule. Over the last few months she has helped WBG with volunteer
days at Avish Gardens, and has written several articles for the WBG newsletter.
Tavia has given hundreds of volunteer hours to WBG’s current efforts and future gardens. Her
spirit as a leader and a volunteer have kept us on track to become a world-class botanical garden



2015 – Valerie J. Smith         2016 – Tim Baker         2017 – Amanda Schmitt and Mary Ayers


cultivator volunteer of the year AWARD

Congratulations to Josh Shuck, our Cultivator Volunteer of the Year awardee!

The Cultivators are our group of young professionals who are also working to make the Botanical Gardens Project a reality. This motivated group has their own governing council, their own members, and put on their own events. They are dedicated volunteers, and the Cultivator Volunteer of the Year for 2018 is none other than Council President, Josh Shuck.