Volunteer

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Everglades Wonder Gardens (EWG) is grateful for the commitment and passion of our many volunteers. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to accomplish many of the exciting plans we have for our future. We look forward to us all working together as a team to support, improve and grow our historic roadside attraction begun in 1936.

Our volunteers provide a much needed complementary workforce and are essential in the daily appearance of the Gardens without increasing the cost to our visitors. Our volunteer team is our most valuable resource.

The Gardens offer you the opportunity to work and learn alongside other like-minded individuals.

Having a green thumb is not a requirement to volunteer with us. While gardening experience is helpful, we do offer other areas and many ways for you to be involved such as:

Animal care includes providing food and water for the animals and cleaning animal enclosures and pools. Duties may involve lifting, moving, cleaning, sweeping, raking and being in close contact with birds, turtles, tortoises and other species. You must be able to work outdoors in the extreme heat and sun or in the winter months, on very, very cold days. Minimum time requirement is two hours. Clothing Requirements: Wear clothes that can get dirty, but are still presentable and tennis shoes or closed toe shoes.
Docents are specially trained volunteers who provide tours to members and guests. Docents are responsible for interacting with the public and telling them what EWG is all about. Extensive training is required for this position, and docents learn about the wide variety of plants and animals in the Gardens, as well as stories about the rich history of the Gardens and Old Florida. You must be able to work outdoors in the extreme heat and sun or in the winter months, on very, very cold days. Clothing Requirements: Docents will be provided with an EWG shirt, to be worn with khaki bottoms, and tennis shoes or closed toe shoes. No short shorts.
Volunteers in the Environmental Learning Center program can serve in a variety of roles. The Environmental Learning Center provides complete lesson kits in plastic bins to classroom teachers or to parents who home school their children. They borrow these kits without cost. The components of the kits (for one grade level) have been developed in collaboration with the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Volunteers for the Development of Learning Kit Lessons: Each of the kits must be made grade appropriate for all the grade levels, Pre-K through high school. Volunteers who have a background in education are needed to modify the lesson plans, activities, assessments and other materials contained in the original single-grade kit.

Volunteers for the Reproduction of Learning Kits: The Learning Kits that have been developed for each grade level need to be replicated so that multiple classrooms or parents can have the use of the kits at the same time. This does not require a background in education and involves photocopying, organizing, and labeling materials.

Volunteers for the Delivery of Environmental Education: Some of the activities in the lesson kits can be completed at EWG. Volunteers are needed to help facilitate these activities so the lessons can be completed by the children and their chaperones.

Horticulture includes weeding, potting, moving plants from one location to another, digging, pruning, raking, sweeping, clearing debris etc. There is a wide range of activity in the Horticulture department. Some of it can be physically strenuous while some jobs require little strength, such a watering or weeding. You must be able to work outdoors in the extreme heat and sun or in the winter months, on very, very cold days. Minimum time requirement is two hours. Clothing Requirements: Bring garden work gloves. Wear clothes that can get dirty, but are still presentable and tennis shoes or closed toe shoes.
Marketing volunteers provide support for a variety of marketing needs, and volunteers are needed for many creative activities, including writing press releases, e-newsletters, blog posts, social media, photography, videography, creating PowerPoints and other presentation materials, and graphic design work such as creating brochures, fliers, rack cards, infographics, invitations, etc. This is mostly indoor work and may take place in the EWG office or from your home, office or campus.
This volunteer assignment includes general office work, including filing, organizing, phone calls, mailings, computer work, etc. The work may be general or specialized (such as bookkeeping, mail merge or database management). This is indoor work and would generally take place at the EWG office but may be performed off-site by special arrangement.
Operations or facilities volunteer work could entail lifting, moving, cleaning, sweeping, raking, and much more. You would be assisting the Operations staff, responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of the Garden and safety of our guests. They set up chairs, tents, tables and more for events and parties, they build and fix things, and empty trash. Their job description covers a wide range of skills. This would be mostly outdoor work and would require that you physically are in shape to do the work. Minimum time commitment is four hours. Clothing Requirements: Wear clothes that can get dirty, but are still presentable and tennis shoes or closed toe shoes.
There are any number of tasks you may be asked to do for special events such as assisting guests at registration, interacting with the public and telling the general public about the Gardens, taking admission fees, directing cars in parking lot, assisting people to their cars by carrying their plant purchases, assisting with children’s activities, serving as a monitor in the gardens when groups of school children visit for an educational program, providing security to a particular area, selling gift items or raffle tickets, manning an auction table, etc. Clothing Requirements: Must wear white shirt with collar, khaki bottoms, and tennis shoes or closed toe shoes. No short shorts. Come as close as possible without buying something.

We also need help taking EWG on the road for the following events:
Riverfest, Riverside Park, Bonita Springs – Fall 2016
Arbor Day at Riverside Park – April 2017
July 4th Parade, Downtown Bonita Springs – walking along with us to represent EWG in the parade
Chamber Events – Bonita Springs & Estero
City of Bonita Springs Events

with the public and telling them what EWG is all about. Station Guides are specially trained to share information with guest about a particular area of the Gardens, Museum or Visitor Center. Clothing Requirements: Station Guides will be provided with an EWG shirt, to be worn with khaki bottoms, and tennis shoes or closed toe shoes. No short shorts.

We will contact you to schedule an volunteer orientation and discuss your interest in volunteering with us. Thank you!

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