Every year, with the help of amazing volunteers, the Seattle Japanese Garden is able to offer public festivals and programs with rich cultural and educational opportunities. From staffing arts and craft tables, to setting up for tea service, to moving canopies and chairs, we need many hands to make these days enjoyable for visitors of all ages.
There is no long term commitment or prerequisites to support us as an event volunteer. Shifts are available on weekdays, evenings, and weekends.
Under the supervision of our Senior Gardener, members of the Niwashi Volunteer Program get hands-on in our garden. They beautify the moss beds, sweep the gravel paths, and undertake a variety of seasonal maintenance tasks. Program participants receive a unique opportunity to learn firsthand what goes into maintaining a Japanese Garden.
Niwashi volunteers are in the garden on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 am until noon. A minimum participation of 6 hours per month is required for this volunteer program. Orientations are offered twice a year.
Guides are the interpretive storytellers of our garden. They impart knowledge about the garden's history, elements and aesthetics to visitors. In addition to leading 45-minute public or private tours, guides are sometimes stationed in key locations to answer visitors' questions, especially during festival days. There is a 2-tours a month commitment for this program. Most tours take place at 12:30 pm daily, and additionally at 11 am Tuesday and Thursday.
Guides receive classes, specialized training, and mentoring before leading tours. Applications for training are currently closed.