Tour Volunteer Information

© Saxon Holt Photography


The 2017 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is seeking volunteers who will spend a morning or afternoon greeting tour participants and answering questions. Forty gardens located throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties will be showcased on this Tour, which will take place on Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 10:00–5:00. The marvelous collection of gardens on the tour range from Al Kyte’s forty five year old native plant garden to those that are newly installed; from large lots in the Oakland hills to small front gardens in the flats; and from local natives to the horticulturally available suite of natives from throughout California. A number of gardens were designed and installed by the owners, others were designed and installed by professionals.

Benefits to volunteers include a pre-tour meeting with the owner and private tour of the garden you will be staffing; a guaranteed tour reservation for the half-day you are free; a Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour t-shirt; and, perhaps best of all, heartfelt thanks for helping to educate the general public about the many pleasures and benefits of gardening with California native plants. You can browse the 2017 Tour Garden descriptions to get an idea of the range of gardens available. Gardens will be assigned on a first-come basis. Fill out the main Tour registration form to volunteer and request your preferred gardens. For more information, please email Kathy Kramer or call 510-236-9558 between 9 am and 9 pm.

Tour Description

Gardens included on this Tour were selected because they:

  • Feature 60% or more native plants
  • Are pesticide-free
  • Reduce waste by composting, mulching, and selecting appropriate plants,
  • Conserve water, and
  • Provide habitat for wildlife

Volunteer Participation Criteria

Tour Volunteers must:

  • Have basic gardening knowledge
  • Support chemical-free gardening
  • Enjoy public education and interaction
  • Be able to commit to a four-hour shift (either 9:30 to 1:30, or 1 to 5. (Volunteers may use the balance of the day to tour gardens)

Garden Placement and Duties

There are two typical volunteer activities:

Volunteer Greeters welcome guests, take garden tickets from guests, and facilitate the flow of traffic into the garden. Greeters do not need to be knowledgeable about natives plants, just warm to the general public.

Garden Assistants
Garden Assistants must be familiar with native plants, and able to answer questions about them. Garden Assistants will help the host answer questions about the garden, plants, and natural gardening techniques used. (Volunteers will meet with their host gardener and see the garden they have been assigned to prior to the tour.) Volunteers will receive a volunteer orientation packet that includes details about the agreed-upon garden assignment, a host gardener plant list, tour T-shirt, and other related materials.

To volunteer for the Tour, please fill out the registration form, and fill the Volunteer section out completely