Become a Volunteer

Weekend Docents & Gift Shop Staff are Especially Needed!

Planting Fields Volunteer Job Descriptions

Building Operations

For the hale and hearty person who likes to work with their hands, this new position offers many ways to help: restoration projects, carpentry, maintenance, event set up. Whatever your skills may be, we can probably find a job for you to do!

Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays, upon discussion with Building Operations Manager

Coe Hall Gardens/Azalea Walk/Rhododendron Park

For gardeners interested in helping to maintain and restore the historic Coe Hall gardens, Rhododendron Parks and Azalea Walk; these areas offer a comfortable and cool spot. New shade plantings are planned to bring more seasonal color to this garden.

Days Available: Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays (Mornings)

Coe Hall Receptionists

Receptionists at Coe Hall are the friendly faces who greet visitors to Coe Hall. Receptionists are responsible for accepting payments, scheduling tours and ensuring a smooth flow of visitors through the house.

Days/Hours Available: Monday – Sunday, April 1-September 30, 12:00 pm-4:00 pm.

Dahlia Garden

The Dahlia garden is a showstopper from mid-summer through fall. This dedicated group grows all of its plants from over-wintered tubers, as well as trials new cultivars yet to be seen in the market. If you are a devotee of dahlias, or just enjoy working with a jovial group of gardeners, this is the spot for you.

Days/Hours Available: Wednesday mornings, February through late fall.

Daphne & Dwarf Conifer Gardens

The Daphne Garden recently underwent a major renovation and requires assistance with planting and maintenance of the new beds. The Dwarf Conifer Garden is a fun, miniature forest where weeders are wanted!

Days/Hours Available: Thursdays, 8:30 –11:30 am.

Display Gardens

Volunteers assist with weeding, pruning and general horticultural maintenance in the Bird Sanctuary, Wildflower Walk and Ornamental Grass Garden.

Days/Hours Available: Thursdays, 9:00 am- Noon.

Docents & Grounds Guides

Docents provide general tours of both Coe Hall and the Formal Gardens surrounding the house. Grounds Guides provide prearranged group tours with more in-depth tours of the gardens. Training for new docents takes place in March, but enthusiastic new volunteers are encouraged to join this stimulating group at any time of the year.

Days/Hours Available: Mondays – Sundays, April 1-September 30, 12:00 pm-4:00 pm.

Gift Shop

Gift Shop volunteers assist visitors with purchases, run the cash register, keep inventory stocked and provide general maintenance of the shop floor. Prospective volunteers should feel comfortable handling cash and credit card transactions (training provided).

Days/Hours Available: Mondays – Sundays, Year-round, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Perennial Gardens

Grounds volunteers weed, plant, cultivate and prune throughout the Rose Arbor perennial beds, Playhouse Garden, Bea Jones Garden and Peony beds. For the volunteer looking for a varied experience, this is a great place to work. Experienced gardeners preferred.

Days/Hours Available: Tuesdays or Thursdays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Main Greenhouse

The Main Greenhouse maintains a conservatory of tropicals and subtropicals, notable collections for public viewing, and produces all plant material for eight major seasonal displays and garden beds around the greenhouse. Volunteer work involves grooming beds and plant material in and around greenhouse complex, weeding, transplanting of seedlings, moving and lifting plants. Depending upon skill level, there is also potting, propagation, pruning and staking. Ability to bend, lift and kneel required.

Hours: Mondays –Fridays, 3-hour shifts at 9:00am and 1:00 pm. Call for available openings.

Production Greenhouse

The Production Greenhouse cultivates numerous plants for New York State Parks in the Long Island Region and for selected gardens at Planting Fields. In early March, volunteers begin to transplant seedlings and continue through the growing season with additional plants. Production goes on seven days a week and hours are flexible. (Openings available on an as-needed basis only)

Public Programs Assistant

Public Programs Assistants assist the Coordinator with set up, cleanup, greeting and check-in for scheduled events. You may attend the program free of charge, except for any materials costs. A variety of programs are offered: gardening lectures, garden tours, hands-on workshops, yoga and ballroom dancing. You may volunteer to work at any programs that interest you.

Rose Garden

The rosarians’ dedication and ability can be seen in all three gardens. They mulch for weed control, fertilize, prune, remove faded flowers and, when time permits, take time to smell the roses. The Lilac borders also benefit from their care.

Hours: Tuesdays or Fridays, 8:00 am -12:00 pm.

Special Events

These volunteers may be unable to commit to a regular weekly schedule, but are available to assist on Special Events staffing, such as Arbor Day.

Hours: As needed.

Synoptic Garden

The Synoptic Garden is a five-acre collection of alphabetically arranged woody trees and shrubs pruned to maintain their natural shape, enabling our visitors to study them as nature intended them to grow.

Hours: Mondays through Thursdays, 9:00 am-12:00 pm.

Visitor Center Desk

If you enjoy assisting the visiting public, providing directions and suggestions for their visit, please join us at our brand new, state of the art Visitor Center.

Days/Hours Available: Monday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Garden Library

For the book-lover or library student, this is a great place for you. The Library has just been totally revamped and would like to expand its service hours to students and the visiting public.

Days/Hours Available: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays 9:00 am -2:00pm

Collections Care

Interested in working with the archives and the collections? Volunteering in Collections Care allow you to get up close and personal with the artifacts in Coe Hall. Careful cleaning of the objects, caring for the period rooms and researching potential exhibits are some of the needs of the curator. Artifacts needing this special care include Mr. Coe’s trophies and other silver pieces, the woodworking and furniture, crystal pieces, and books throughout the house. Have a special area of interest? New ideas welcome. No previous experience required.

Days Available: Mondays – Saturdays

For further information, or to receive an application, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator – Elsa Eisenberg (516) 922-8670 or email

Download the Volunteer Application Here