Volunteer at the Garden!

The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.
— DeAnn Hollis

Volunteers are vital to the success of the Garden and are an integral part of the education program. Please join us and make a difference in our community! There are many fun opportunities available to participate involving varying degrees of hourly commitment.


  • 10% discount on any level of membership
  • Invitation to our annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
  • Enjoy the camaraderie of fellow volunteers
  • Learn about Japanese culture and gardens
  • Build experience in various skill sets, including administration, gardening, and more!

Please note that the Garden does not accept court referrals.


Cherry Blossom Festival: The JFG throws a festival every spring to celebrate our blooming cherry blossom trees! We need volunteers to help us run our beer and tea garden, kids area, in-house food booth and more. This year's Cherry Blossom Festival takes place on March 9th, 10th and 11th. For more information, please click the link below.


  • Garden Assistant
    • The most relaxing volunteer job in San Diego! Assist our gardeners by pulling weeds, watering plants, and performing various other duties under the gardeners' supervision. No previous gardening experience required and scheduling is flexible.
  • General Office Assistant

    • Help out with random tasks around the office - can include anything from scanning files to preparing crafts to setting up for an event!

  • Departmental Assistant

    • Assist with various duties in a specific department. Departments include:

      • Events and Marketing

        • Creating promotional material, promoting garden events, assisting with marketing research and surveys

      • Programs

        • Record-keeping on classes and programs, developing and running cultural activities

      • Private Events

        • Answering initial inquiries of clients interested in renting the garden. Experience in administrative work and event coordinating required.

      • Membership

        • Stuffing envelopes, data entry, conducting surveys, assisting with bi-monthly newsletter

      • Volunteer and Outreach

        • Record-keeping on volunteers, participating in cultural outreach events

      • Exhibits

        • Library archiving, archive research, installing and de-installing exhibits, creating exhibit promotional material. Experience in the arts or as an art major required.

For more informatione-mail Sara Shah at volunteer@niwa.org or call (619) 232-2781.


Check back at a later date to see if any of these positions have opened!

  • School Outreach

    • Take the Japanese Friendship Garden’s outreach curriculum to San Diego Schools


- Seijin Shiki (coming of age ceremony)

March                                                         - Cherry Blossom Festival

April                                                            - Membership Tea

June                                                                                   - Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

July                                                                                    - Summer Camp (Min commitment of 15 hrs/week)

August                                                                                 - O-Bon Festival                                                           - Annual Gala

October                                                                                                      - Halloween Family Day

November                                                                                               - Shichi Go San (coming of age ceremony) 

December                                                                                                    - December Nights

Banner Photo Credit: Dominic Nepomuceno