Family Volunteer Opportunities

At Tyler, we invite families to volunteer together.

We believe that young people who receive the encouragement of a family member or mentor during nature explorations grow up to be outdoor enthusiasts and conservators in their own right. The minimum age for anyone to volunteer at Tyler Arboretum is 12 years old, with the exception of the Pollinator Preserve, which is age 6. All young people ages 12-17 who wish to volunteer must do so with a parent or guardian or with a responsible adult (someone who is at least 18 years old).

Below, you will find a list of currently available volunteer opportunities. Please review the list carefully prior to filling out the Volunteer Family Application form. By clicking on each opportunity, you will find further details and a link to the specific job description. Download the application and save it on your computer, fill it out and save your changes. Please submit the form electronically to Lexi Fowler at afowler@tylerarboretum.org. Alternatively, you may print the form and complete it by hand and either drop it off at the Tyler Arboretum Visitor Center or mail it to 515 Painter Road, Media, PA, 19053, attention Lexi Fowler, Volunteer Coordinator.

To keep up-to-date with Tyler’s events, programs, digital content and volunteer news, sign up for the monthly edition of Tyler’s Painter Press.

American Chestnut Orchard Tenders

The loss of healthy and productive native chestnuts in eastern forests is one of the greatest ecological disasters in recent human history. Tyler’s volunteers support the arboretum’s cooperation with The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) who’s goal is to breed blight resistance from the Chinese chestnut tree into the American chestnut tree, while maintaining the American chestnut’s characteristics. A chestnut orchard was planted on site in 1997 with seedlings from Pennsylvania. The purpose of Tyler’s orchard is to preserve the American chestnut genome while producing seeds through open and controlled pollination for work in other parts of the state.

By weeding, mulching, and pruning 150 trees, Tyler’s volunteers help assure the viability of a reservoir of the American chestnut. Nuts harvested each fall from these trees support breeding at other locations around the state. Tyler’s volunteers also learn about the disease that devastated our native chestnut tree as well as participate in controlled pollination activities to create first-generation hybrids.

A brief walk through of the work area and review of tasks are encouraged prior to deciding to join the group.

When: starting in April, Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Families with youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17 are welcome to attend. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Click here to access the American Chestnut Orchard Tenders job description

Pollinator Preserve Guides

Are you personable and love to be around insects? Do you enjoy sharing the stories of our native plants and the insects that depend upon them? While our native butterflies and caterpillars get a lot of attention, our guides are also trained to share the entire Pollinator Preserve with Tyler’s visitors. The season starts in late spring/early summer before many of the butterflies are back and goes through to mid-October.

Guides: Daily morning and afternoon shifts are available from late spring/early summer to mid-October.

Families with youngsters between the ages of 10 and 17 are welcome to attend. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Click here to access the Pollinator Preserves Guides and Gardeners job description.

Special Events 

Do you love community events? Tyler’s quarterly Fireside Events, annual Plant Sale, and annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser require lots of help and many hands to be successful.

Our Fireside events take place seasonally on a quarterly basis on a Thursday or Friday. Each event will feature a seasonal theme with a variety of roles and opportunities available.

Volunteers are needed to assist with all phases of our spring plant sale, including labeling and caring for the plants prior to the sale, event set-up and take down, and assisting our customers on the three days of the sale itself. 

The Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser is held on a Saturday in February each year and features many service roles, including flipping pancakes, serving guests, and getting tables ready.

Any additional special events will be communicated to this team.

Lucille’s Garden (Edible Garden)

Do you want to learn (or hone) your gardening skills and help visitors learn about growing vegetables and fruit? Then this is the volunteer job for you.

In this role, you will provide day-to-day support to the gardeners in the Edible Garden, both in the vegetable display as well as other planting beds.

This role requires physical dexterity, an ability to bend and kneel frequently, and a tolerance for working outdoors.

We are particularly looking for volunteers with a positive outlook who like to be creative. Some experience with vegetable gardening, plant identification, and basic pruning and display planting is ideal. Master Gardener training is a plus but isn’t essential.

We ask that volunteers in this role be able to commit to a minimum of 8 hours per month during the busiest months of April through September.

When: Volunteer hours are available four mornings per week (including Saturdays) from March through December.

Families with youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17 are welcome to attend. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Click here to access the Lucille’s Garden job description.

Blue Bird Box Monitor

What initially began in 1970 to address the decline of bluebirds, the Blue Bird Box monitor program at Tyler is a wonderful outlet for individuals and families to learn about conservation and to practice conservation. 

Volunteers monitor bluebird boxes on Tyler property on a weekly basis from April through August. You don’t need to be a birder to take part; you just need to be a lover of the outdoors and have a commitment to nature.

Bluebird Box Monitors must be able to hike 2 miles without difficulties and must be comfortable being out in nature in all kinds of weather.

When: Seasonal from April through August on a weekly basis at a mutually agreed upon time.

Families with youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17 are welcome to attend. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Click here to access the Blue Bird Box Monitor job description.

Crafters

Are you creative, and do you love to express yourself through paint, glue, and glitter? If your craft room cannot contain your energy, why not come and join our crafting volunteers and put the magical touches on many of our displays? Most of the work takes place indoors, and volunteers are free to work at their own pace.

When: Seasonally between April and October and when needs arise throughout the year.

Families with youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17 are welcome to attend. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Click here to access the Crafters job description.