Lotusland preserves Madame Ganna Walska’s historic estate in Santa Barbara, California, by caring for collections and overseeing a comprehensive conservation program. The organization largely operates through the help of more than 250 volunteers, who fulfill a wide range of functions. Some serve as docents and lead tours of the estate and its various gardens, which are open nine months of the year. These individuals field questions about the exotic plants in the collection and offer a historical perspective on the land. A docent training program prepares volunteers for this experience.
People who like to get their hands dirty can volunteer to work in the gardens, weeding, planting, watering, digging, and undertaking other gardening tasks as necessary. Other volunteer roles include working at special events and taking on special projects, such large-scale mailings. Lotusland also operates a garden shop staffed by volunteers, who welcome visitors to the estate and answer basic questions about tours.
To volunteer, apply at Lotusland.org or contact Kitty Thomassin, the organization’s volunteer coordinator.