Become a Volunteer Guide

It's Nature Play For Adults

Volunteer Interpretive Persons (VIPs)

  • Present an overview of the gardens, plant collections, and your favorite places at Holden
  • Lead adults on walking or tram tours throughout Holden’s gardens and trails.
  • Discover skills you didn't know you had
  • Grow with a friendly, dynamic group of volunteers who have fun while learning and contributing their expertise and knowledge
  • Expand your interest in natural history and horticulture through our excellent training course
  • Learn new things! No experience necessary. Just a desire to meet people

Please contact the volunteer office at or 440.602.8003 if you are interested in becoming a VIP guide.


VIP Guide Position Description


Enhance our guests experience by conducting an interesting and informative walking or tram tour while providing an overview of Holden history, gardens and natural areas.

Suggested activities

  • Put energy and enthusiasm into one’s presentations.
  • Answer questions about The Holden Arboretum in an accurate and unbiased manner

General Procedure for VIP Guides During Tours

  • Check-in at the Corning Visitor Center desk 15 minutes early
  • Receive registration envelope and radio from the desk.  Check to see how many tours are scheduled
  • Gather your group, introduce yourself, and discuss the logistics of the tour
  • Lead the tour for your group
  • Return radio to the Corning Visitor Center desk
  • Fill out the VIP Guides Comment Form and record your hours.  Return form to the Corning Visitor Center desk.


Positive guest comments

Position, qualifications, skills and characteristics

  • Interest in working with people
  • Willingness to learn
  • Good health for moderate hiking
  • Good communication skills
  • Interest in plants, natural history and ecology is helpful
  • Flexibility to work with various groups
  • Flexibility to guide on weekends and/or evenings, as well as weekdays


  • Attend New Volunteer Orientation
  • Background check – finger printing
  • Drivers License check
  • Attend VIP Guide Training (14-16 hours)
  • Annual Refresher Training (4-6 hours)

Time commitment

Typically four hours per week, May - October

Work environment/site

Holden gardens and grounds - outside


Volunteers report to the manger of public programs and are supported by guest relations staff.

Recording of Hours

Volunteers are responsible for turning in their hours by completing comment sheets at the end of each shift.

Benefits of position

Invitations to guides only events

Training provided


Please contact the volunteer office at or 440.602.8003 if you are interested in becoming a VIP guide.