Volunteers provide vital outreach, administrative, and operational support for our organization. By volunteering, you can help us build awareness, raise funds, plan and carry out events, and participate in community outreach opportunities. In addition, we 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:


regeneration fair, 10/12


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


Wbg garden guide (docent) training classes


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 training, including the “graduation,” where they will demonstrate their skills for WBG staff.




** 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:




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 Ned Price, our 2019 Dot Wade Volunteer of the Year awardee!

Our 2019 Dot Wade Volunteer of the Year awardee is Ned Price.

Ned is a super volunteer. He first heard about Botanica at a Jon Carloftis talk back in 2014 and has been with us ever since. The first event he remembers coming to was the dedication of the Founders Garden at the Heigold Façade on Frankfort Ave. He has served on the Volunteer Committee since the spring of 2017, the reGeneration Fair Committee since 2018, helps out regularly in the gardens at the Avish Estate, and is a member of our first-ever class of WBG Garden Guides. He truly does it all!

Perhaps most impressively, Ned doesn’t even live in Louisville! He has driven and continues to drive here all the way from Frankfort to help make the Gardens a reality for the community. Thank you, Ned!



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

2018 – Tavia Cathcart Brown


cultivator volunteer of the year AWARD

Congratulations to John Haley, our 2019 Cultivator Volunteer of the Year awardee!

The Cultivators are our group of young professionals who are also working to promote WBG in the community. This motivated group has its own governing council, its own members, and puts on its own events. They are dedicated volunteers. The Cultivator Volunteer of the Year for 2019 is none other than Council Vice President, John Haley, who in addition to helping spread the word with much enthusiasm, also helps with the Cultivator graphics!