MAKING BALBOA PARK BETTER STARTS WITH YOU!

No matter your age or level of experience, you have something to contribute to making San Diego’s crown jewel shine! Join the Balboa Park Conservancy and its primary partner, the City of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, to help enhance the visitor experience, sustain our precious cultural and environmental resources, and become a steward of one of the world’s greatest urban parks. We provide the training and gear—you provide the enthusiasm and love of Balboa Park.

See below for the current slate of volunteer opportunities with the Balboa Park Conservancy.

BALBOA PARK AMBASSADORS

Park Ambassadors work “in the field” to greet park guests and start them on their exploration of Balboa Park. They also act as the eyes and ears of the Parks and Recreation department to help keep visitors and the park safe.

Stationed at key park hubs and entry points, Park Ambassadors are friendly and knowledgeable volunteers who share up-to-date information about Balboa Park’s museums, history, gardens, and other amenities to guests. Our Ambassadors are briefed daily about any special events in the park, closures, or traffic issues. Park Ambassadors work in teams of two outdoors at the three major plazas in the historic center of the park. They are trained on when and how to alert park staff to maintenance needs and safety issues should they arise.

Park Ambassador Candidates Are:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Enthusiastic and outgoing
  • Effective communicators (bilingual skills are very helpful)
  • San Diegans with prior knowledge of Balboa Park and San Diego in general
  • Able to complete 20 hours of orientation training
  • Willing to attend additional meetings as required
  • Willing to complete a background check and fingerprinting (at no cost)
  • Available to work four 4-hour shifts per month (with exceptions)
  • Able to make a 2-year commitment (a 1-year commitment is acceptable)
  • Able to remain standing/walking outdoors during much of the 4-hour shift (10am–2pm)
  • Able to set up/take down the shade structure and chairs (stored in nearby building) with the help of their partner 

Please email our Volunteer Coordinator for more info at volunteer@balboapark.org or click the volunteer application button below. We’re actively recruiting for this position.

BALBOA PARK TREE STEWARDS

Balboa Park has more than 15,000 trees, and every one needs TLC! Tree Stewards are our urban forest warriors who work with Parks and Rec to help these precious green resources thrive. Be part of an elite volunteer corps that monitors the health and well-being of hundreds of newly planted trees and thousands of legacy trees in need of conservation.

Balboa Park’s tree collection is an extraordinary asset to our region. As such, their adequate care requires dedicated support from tree lovers like you. Tree Stewards are specially trained to monitor newly planted trees, general health conditions of existing trees, soil moisture surrounding new trees, including identifying irrigation needs, and possible pest infestation.

Tree Stewards generally work in teams of two in an assigned zone of the park and also serve as the eyes and ears of the Parks and Rec department, alerting its staff to any concerns.

Balboa Park Tree Stewards Are:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Passionate about trees
  • Interested in learning to identify tree species
  • Able to walk around a predetermined zone to observe and monitor trees
  • Willing to work 6-8 hours each month in 2-to-4-hour shifts
  • Available to complete 10 hours of orientation training
  • Able to remain outdoors during the entire shift
  • Willing to complete a background check and fingerprinting (at no cost)
  • Able to make a 1-year commitment

Please email our Volunteer Coordinator for more information at volunteer@balboapark.org. There is an active waitlist for this program.

GARDEN STEWARDS/DOCENTS (Coming Soon!)

Garden Stewards help Parks and Rec staff to reinvigorate and maintain Balboa Park’s historic Cactus Garden. They assist with planting, mulching, deadheading, and other gardening tasks. As docents, they also share their knowledge of the park’s gardens and horticulture with visitors and tour groups.

The 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden was developed under Kate Sessions for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. It contains some of the largest cactus and succulent specimens in all of Balboa Park. The Balboa Park Conservancy recently worked with a generous donor, volunteers and the City of San Diego Parks & Recreation to rejuvenate the garden with the addition of desert flora originating from Africa, Australia, and Europe to further beautify the Cactus Garden. Now we need your help to tend to these young succulents and plants.

For more information please contact allie@balboapark.org.

BALBOA PARK VISITORS CENTER VOLUNTEERS

Visitors Center volunteers are the ultimate guides to Balboa Park. They provide detailed park information and personal assistance to all guests of the region’s busiest visitors center.

Managed by the Balboa Park Conservancy, the Balboa Park Visitors Center is prominently located at the northwest corner of the House of Hospitality building. Its information desk is continuously staffed by highly knowledgeable volunteers who have access to the most current and comprehensive information about the park’s activities and attractions. Open 9:30am to 4:30pm daily (except major holidays), the Visitors Center offers brochures, maps, audio tours, free guided tours of the park, transportation information, dining advice, and more.

As many of our current volunteers will tell you, working in the Visitors Center can feel like a privilege, and positions are highly coveted. To reserve a spot on the waitlist, please email Susy Creamer at visitor@balboapark.org and request an application.

INTERNSHIPS

Interns work directly with the Balboa Park Conservancy’s administrative staff to advance our vital mission priorities. You will gain invaluable hands-on work experience, ranging from park conservation to event planning.

Internships are currently available in the following departments:

  • Balboa Park Visitors Center
  • Department of Park Activation
  • Department of External Relations
  • Department of Park Improvement

Please email our Volunteer Coordinator for more information at audrey@balboapark.org. We’re currently recruiting for this position.

Volunteer Partners

Thank you for recognizing our volunteers and all of your support!

Alvarado Institute of Skin Care
Azuki Sushi
Balboa Park Visitors Center Gift Shop
Bandar Restaurant
Body Evolution
Café in the Park
Certified Folder Display Service, Inc.
Cohn Restaurant Group
Curryosity
Cygnet Theatre
Daniel’s Coffee Cart
Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro
Emerald Isle Golf Course
Fiesta de Reyes
Freshii
Gabrielle Esthetics
Giorgino’s
Grubby’s Poke & Fish Market
Japanese Friendship Garden
La Jolla Playhouse
Leisure Travel Pass
Living Coast Discovery Center
Mainly Mozart
Marston House
Mission Valley Trader Joe’s
Museum of Making Music

Old Town Trolley Tours
Panama 66
Picaboo
Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza
San Diego Air & Space Museum
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Botanic Garden
San Diego History Center
San Diego Junior Theatre
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts
San Diego Natural History Museum
San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
Scripps Ranch Theatre
SeaWorld San Diego
SOHO
The Fish Market
The LOT Theaters
The Old Globe
The San Diego Museum of Art
United Nations Association Gift Shop
USS Midway

Still have a question? Please contact us using the form below.

 

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