Grounds and gardening volunteers help shape the experience of visitors by maintaining the museum landscape and the variety of plants on the grounds. Our museum features a c1900 Olmsted Brothers landscape design, and it adds to the uniqueness and interpretive value of this former home. These volunteers will coordinate with our Facilities and Grounds Committee, staff, and other volunteers to develop a consistent plan for maintenance. You are not confined to the grounds however. If you wish to also be a docent or help with other special projects, please feel encouraged to do so!
Responsibilities most often include but are not limited to:
- Working with the Facilities and Grounds Committee, staff, and members of the Asheville Men’s Garden Club to manage the Olmsted-designed landscape on a certain schedule
- Tree and shrub pruning
- Watering and irrigation
- Labeling or providing interpretive signs for different species
- Monitoring special species like our two American chestnut hybrids
- Upkeep of trellis and other outdoor structures
- Participating/assisting with our annual Park Day. This event is part of an American Battlefield Trust program where volunteers care for grounds and facilities of Revolutionary or Civil War-related sites.
A few extra options:
- (Optional) Gardeners with special plant knowledge may participate in youth or other public programs
- (Optional) Some volunteers may wish to research select topics and write/create social media or website posts for the museum.
- (Optional) Some volunteers may wish to take part in tabled events at festivals, conferences, etc. on behalf of the museum.
- (Optional) Some volunteers may wish to accompany us on guided hikes and other programs to provide assistance.
Training: We do not expect you to know everything about plants (or history). But we are happy to provide resources, training, and chances to learn new skills and content.
Training and Resources include:
- Board members or knowledgeable gardeners will orient you to the grounds and the variety of plants if needed.
- These contacts will also provide training in plant care if needed.
- Staff will discuss with you existing exhibits, the history of the house, etc., and provide information about any new exhibits or changes to existing ones.
- A suggested bibliography or reading list of books, articles, primary sources, and websites will be made available to you. Many of these are available here at the museum and almost all are available through public libraries or internet archives.
- A substantial library of books (non-fiction and fictional) relating to WNC history are available for you to use and learn from. We want you to feel encouraged to read and research if you are interested.
- Staff members will train you to use point of sale systems and conduct monetary transactions (if applicable).
- If interested in learning more about specialized skills or concepts (social media, archival research, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), interpretation, artifact care, etc.) staff members can offer informal lessons.
- If interested in assisting outdoor programs, you can also request to take Wilderness First Aid/CPR and be reimbursed.
- Free museum access for yourself and guests
- Free access to most programs (some yearly events are specifically fundraisers)
- Group field trips to other historic sites/archives
- Volunteer appreciation events
- Early looks at new exhibits
We do not expect you to spend your whole day or week in the museum. We value your time and are grateful for it! We ask for 2-3 hours per week but can certainly accommodate more or fewer hours. We will work to create a recurring volunteer schedule but grounds volunteers especially may vary in their times. This commitment may be more fluid or as-needed than other volunteer roles.
- Our anticipated hours of operation are Wed-Saturday, 11am-5pm.
- Grounds volunteers may wish to volunteer at different times, such as when it is cooler in the morning or evening.
Questions and Contact:
Please feel free to reach out anytime with questions. One staff member will always handle volunteer coordination. You will also be put in contact with board members and other volunteers who will directly coordinate grounds activities.
The current staff contact is Trevor Freeman, AMoH public programs director.