Youth Volunteer Opportunities

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There are many engaging options for teens and youth to contribute at The Morton Arboretum.

If you are entering 7th, 8th, or 9th grade in the fall of 2024, and enjoy being outdoors, working with children, gardening, or learning about citizen science, consider applying to the Arboretum’s Youth Volunteer Program. We’re also accepting applications directly into our Tree Monitor branch for a select number of high school age students. The program is intended to be a multiple-year experience as volunteers may return to the program each summer through high school.

Volunteers are assigned to certain groups, or branches, of service. The season each year is June through August, with some branches serving optional fall weekends. Most branches have weekday daytime shifts, while the Naturalist branch (working with families in the Children’s Garden) also offers weekend daytime shifts.

The Youth Volunteer Program is a great way to get service hours, learn about STEM college and career information, and share your love of nature with others. Volunteering at the Arboretum will deepen your connection to nature and trees.


Support for the Youth Volunteer Program is provided by U.S. Bank and International Paper.


New applicants may apply for the following branches of service:

  • Naturalist: facilitate activities and interact with Children’s Garden family visitors
  • Gardener: assist in planting, maintaining, and harvesting from trees and plants in the Children’s Garden
  • Tree Monitor: monitor seasonal changes in trees (open only to high school-age candidates newly entering the program)

Youth Volunteers with at least one year of experience may also apply for the following branches:

  • Science Camp: interact with camp staff to deliver informal, nature-based curriculum for summer science camp participants
  • Tree Monitor: monitor trees for seasonal events such as flowering, fruiting, and fall color to understand how to protect species from the impacts of climate change

The selection process takes place in April of each year. Interested in learning more? Contact anytime.

Scout Projects

The Arboretum welcomes a limited number of Eagle Scout and Gold Award Candidate projects annually. For more information contact

Support for the Youth Volunteer Program is provided by U.S. Bank and International Paper.