Proclaimed the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden is a 5.5-acre haven of tranquil beauty nestled in the scenic west hills of Portland, Oregon. Our extraordinary Garden is maintained through admissions, memberships, special gifts, donations and the vital support of our volunteers. We welcome volunteers year-round to join our dynamic volunteer team!
There are several different volunteer programs that fall under the “volunteer umbrella” at the Portland Japanese Garden. Each program requires a different level of volunteer experience and commitment. Some programs emphasize opportunities that have shorter commitments, like volunteering for a single festival or event; other programs offer volunteer opportunities that are ongoing and call for a greater volunteer commitment, such as becoming a trained tour guide. Below is a detailed list of our volunteer programs.
• Arts & Culture Program
Includes gallery exhibitions, events, lectures, festivals, gift shows, and more! This is a great place to try out Garden volunteering. Training for this program usually consists of one brief orientation right before the specific event opens.
• Hort Support Program
This hands-on program is perfect for the rugged volunteer! Hort Support is most active in the spring, summer and fall. New volunteers can sign up to act as substitutes for regular volunteers, and can ask to be accepted as a regularly-scheduled volunteer after working as a sub, if space allows. This program also offers special projects, like ivy pulls, where Hort Support volunteers are recruited to come and work as a group. Training for this program happens individually with each assigned staff gardener. Staff gardener Heike Edossa helps to coordinate this program.
• Tour Guide Program
Become a trained Garden Guide and learn to lead tours through the Garden! Guide Training happens once each year, and is scheduled for Spring of 2014. Interested volunteers go through an interview process and commit to an in-depth training and mentorship. This program is a unique opportunity and a wonderful way to deepen your commitment and connection to the Garden community.
• Office Support Program
In this program, volunteers can either interview for a specialized internship, or they can sign up to be recruited for special projects such as mailings, booklet construction, etc. Internships and office projects are offered as needed.
• Haiku Alive! School Program
Join us in our newest efforts to engage underserved youth in the Portland area! Haiku Alive Volunteers work alongside Garden staff to visit schools in the spring and engage underserved populations of grade school kids in learning about the Garden through writing Haiku poetry. After spring school visits, volunteers then lead students around the Garden on photo excursions where children are given the opportunity to learn about photography as inspiration for creating Haiku. At the end of the school year the students’ haiku and photos are published, and each class is given a copy of the book.
Why should I consider volunteering?
Volunteering at the Garden is a way to build community, gain knowledge of Japanese culture, have new and exciting experiences, and have fun! Garden volunteers are a crucial link between the public and the Garden, and allow our small non-profit organization to thrive.
How do I become a Garden volunteer?
- Complete our online application form
How do I sign up for shifts if I am already a volunteer?
There are a couple of ways to sign up for volunteer shifts. Once your application has been processed and you have received an e-mail with your volunteer login name and password, you can sign up for your assignments using our convenient on-line sign-up system. Or, if you would rather not sign up on-line, you can contact our volunteer coordinator.
- Active volunteers can sign up for a volunteer shift online by clicking here.
For more information about volunteering, please contact Betsy Lattig, Tour and Volunteer Coordinator, at (503) 223-9233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.