Volunteering at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

What would I do?

Volunteers engage in a wide variety of community service activities including the lily pond restoration, removal of invasive plants, painting, planting, pruning, trash removal and other projects as needed.

These activities do require the ability to kneel, squat, lift, and perform routine gardening and clean up functions over a period of three to four hours – sometimes in warm, cold, or rainy weather. Advanced work may involve wading through lily ponds, streams, and tributaries of the Anacostia River, or the use of kayaks, flat boats, and canoes.

When can I volunteer?

Volunteers are invited to join the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens board members for our scheduled monthly Saturday volunteer event (please check our event calendar) to improve and maintain the gardens from 9 a.m. to 12 pm. We also invite volunteers to help during our big events - Earth Day, the Lily Festival and Public Lands Day.

How do I sign up?

To register or to learn more about volunteer service activities at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens please contact Lydia at (313) 970-5195, or by e-mail at lydia@friendsofkenilworthgardens.org. We are happy to work with individuals and groups to develop a one-time volunteer experience and/or create long-term service project!

Service Day Info

Please note our events run rain or shine – severe weather cancels. Volunteers are urged to call the park if you have any questions or concerns about the status of the event.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens has ample off street, free parking. The closest Metro stop is the Deanwood station (orange line) approximately 10 to 15 minutes walking distance from the park. Click here for detailed directions.

Volunteer registration:
Walk-ons are welcome! For tracking purposes it helps to provide advance notice especially if you’ll be bringing a large group (10 plus). All volunteers will be required to fill out volunteer agreement form on site. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Most of our projects are family friendly but some require you to be at least 8 years of age to ensure that the volunteer will have the necessary skill level to complete the projects. Volunteers with special needs are asked to contact the event coordinator or Park Service staff at the Aquatic Gardens in advance of the activity. Day of sign-in takes place inside the park’s interior fence line near the main greenhouse (don’t worry, you can’t miss it).

What you’ll need to bring:
All volunteers should wear clothing appropriate for the work and season at hand. No matter the season please bring a water bottle, hat, sunblock and have on closed toed shoes. For cooler months we encourage long pants, long sleeve shirts. Much of our work will take place in overgrown areas where thickets, thorns, and poison ivy are present. For warmer months we still encourage long pants and sleeves of lighter materials. Since we work in mud, water, and inclement weather, all volunteers should consider bringing a change of clothes. The Park Service and the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens will provide rubber boots, gloves, waders, tools, and potable water. Light snacks (power bars) will also be provided.

Community Service Projects:
Our volunteers engage in a wide variety of community service activities including the removal of invasive plants, painting, lily pond restoration, trash removal (land based and river borne), planting, pruning, and other duties as assigned. These activities do require the ability to kneel, squat, lift, and perform routine gardening and clean up functions over a period of three to four hours – often in warm, cold, or rainy weather. Advanced work may involve wading through lily ponds, streams, and tributaries of the Anacostia River, or the use of kayaks, flat boats, and canoes.

To register or to learn more about volunteer service activities at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens please contact Lydia at (313) 970-5195, or by e-mail at lydia@friendsofkenilworthgardens.org.