Become A Volunteer





Grounds Maintenance:

Number Available:                  5

Application Deadline:             April 1st

Duration:                                 10-12 weeks

Compensation:                        $10.78/hr plus housing


Greenhouse Intern:                 1

Application Deadline:             April 1st, 2015

Duration:                                 10-12 weeks

Compensation:                        $10.78/hr plus housing


Curatorial Intern:                    1

Application Deadline:             April 1st, 2015

Duration:                                 12 weeks plus

Compensation:                        $10.78/hr plus housing


Housing: Each student is assigned a room in our dormitory complex located in the beautiful Haybarn.  Amenities include heating and air conditioning, a common kitchen, lounge, and a washer and dryer.


Contact:                                  Vincent Simeone, Director

Telephone:                              516-922-8601

Fax:                                         516-922-8610

Email:                                      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   



Send a letter of intent to us stating why you are interested in applying for the internship. The application form and information packet will then be provided. Completed applications should include official transcripts, a resume, and three letters of reference.

Grounds Maintenance interns need a passion for working in a public garden and flexibility to perform a wide variety of tasks. This exciting opportunity will offer students practical, hands-on experience in all phases of maintenance, landscape design and the enhancement of a diverse collection of horticultural plant collections within the 409 acre arboretum, as well as in the field instruction.

Greenhouse intern will work closely with the greenhouse curators to maintain and enhance nearly 2 acres of tropical greenhouse collections including economic plants, orchids, cacti and succulents, houseplants, camellias and seasonal displays. In addition, the intern will assist with maintaining and developing new collections such as a Vireya Rhododendron collection.

Curatorial Intern will be responsible for managing, updating and maintaining a computer database of over 10,000 plant records and a GIS based mapping program. In addition, the curatorial intern will be responsible for updating plant records and making and installing plant labels. Knowledge of Microsoft Access, GIS, ESRI and New Hermes label machines is desirable but not a requirement as on the job training will be provided. Knowledge of woody landscape plants of the Northeast is beneficial.

Planting Fields is an intact historic estate designed by the Olmsted Brothers. It is an active arboretum with many unusual greenhouse and hardy plant collections. General duties will include planting, pruning, watering, weeding, mulching, growing and propagation and garden renovation.

Other Information: The interns will also help to maintain and enhance many special gardens such as the Dwarf Conifer Garden, Hydrangea Garden, Woodland Garden, Synoptic Garden, Rhododendron Collection and Formal Gardens. All interns are invited to participate in near-weekly educational field trips to private and public gardens, nurseries and growers on Long Island and the surrounding areas.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the hours of operation?  

Interns work a forty-hour week, Monday through Friday. Hours of operation vary from department to department. Occasionally earlier and later hours may be required Grounds Maintenance department - 7:00am to 3:30pm Main Greenhouse department - typically 8:00am to 4:30pm  

Do all interns start and end their appointment at the same time?

No. Interns can start as early as May 1 and can remain for as many as 12 weeks. We are also offering one 6-month internship.

Composition of the intern applicants?

We do accept qualified international students. Acquiring visas, payment of fees and all required documentation are the responsibilities of the student. Applicants are usually from throughout the fifty United States and Europe

Notification of acceptance.

Interns will be notified by early April, if not earlier.


Join a group of enthusiastic and talented volunteers who are working to preserve a piece of Long Island heritage from the Gold Coast Era. Volunteers are needed in a wide variety of areas as: Gardeners, Greenhouse workers, House and Garden Docents, Gift Shop and Collections Care Staff, Receptionists and Special Events.

Weekend Docents & Gift Shop Staff are Especially Needed!

Planting Fields Volunteer Job Descriptions

Building Operations
For the hale and hearty person who likes to work with their hands, this new position offers many ways to help: restoration projects, carpentry, maintenance, event set up. Whatever your skills may be, we can probably find a job for you to do!

Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays, upon discussion with Building Operations Manager

Coe Hall Gardens/Azalea Walk/Rhododendron Park
For gardeners interested in helping to maintain and restore the historic Coe Hall gardens, Rhododendron Parks and Azalea Walk; these areas offer a comfortable and cool spot. New shade plantings are planned to bring more seasonal color to this garden.

Days Available: Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays (Mornings)

Coe Hall Receptionists
Receptionists at Coe Hall are the friendly faces who greet visitors to Coe Hall. Receptionists are responsible for accepting payments, scheduling tours and ensuring a smooth flow of visitors through the house.

Days/Hours Available: Monday - Sunday, April 1-September 30, 12:00 pm-4:00 pm.

Dahlia Garden

The Dahlia garden is a showstopper from mid-summer through fall. This dedicated group grows all of its plants from over-wintered tubers, as well as trials new cultivars yet to be seen in the market. If you are a devotee of dahlias, or just enjoy working with a jovial group of gardeners, this is the spot for you.

Days/Hours Available: Wednesday mornings, February through late fall.

Daphne & Dwarf Conifer Gardens

The Daphne Garden recently underwent a major renovation and requires assistance with planting and maintenance of the new beds. The Dwarf Conifer Garden is a fun, miniature forest where weeders are wanted!

Days/Hours Available: Thursdays, 8:30 –11:30 am.

Display Gardens
Volunteers assist with weeding, pruning and general horticultural maintenance in the Bird Sanctuary, Wildflower Walk and Ornamental Grass Garden.

Days/Hours Available: Thursdays, 9:00 am- Noon.

Docents & Grounds Guides
Docents provide general tours of both Coe Hall and the Formal Gardens surrounding the house. Grounds Guides provide prearranged group tours with more in-depth tours of the gardens. Training for new docents takes place in March, but enthusiastic new volunteers are encouraged to join this stimulating group at any time of the year.

Days/Hours Available: Mondays - Sundays, April 1-September 30, 12:00 pm-4:00 pm.

Gift Shop
Gift Shop volunteers assist visitors with purchases, run the cash register, keep inventory stocked and provide general maintenance of the shop floor. Prospective volunteers should feel comfortable handling cash and credit card transactions (training provided).

Days/Hours Available: Mondays - Sundays, Year-round, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Perennial Gardens
Grounds volunteers weed, plant, cultivate and prune throughout the Rose Arbor perennial beds, Playhouse Garden, Bea Jones Garden and Peony beds. For the volunteer looking for a varied experience, this is a great place to work. Experienced gardeners preferred.

Days/Hours Available: Tuesdays or Thursdays 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Main Greenhouse
The Main Greenhouse maintains a conservatory of tropicals and subtropicals, notable collections for public viewing, and produces all plant material for eight major seasonal displays and garden beds around the greenhouse. Volunteer work involves grooming beds and plant material in and around greenhouse complex, weeding, transplanting of seedlings, moving and lifting plants. Depending upon skill level, there is also potting, propagation, pruning and staking. Ability to bend, lift and kneel required.

Hours: Mondays –Fridays, 3-hour shifts at 9:00am and 1:00 pm. Call for available openings.

Production Greenhouse
The Production Greenhouse cultivates numerous plants for New York State Parks in the Long Island Region and for selected gardens at Planting Fields. In early March, volunteers begin to transplant seedlings and continue through the growing season with additional plants. Production goes on seven days a week and hours are flexible. (Openings available on an as-needed basis only)

Public Programs Assistant
Public Programs Assistants assist the Coordinator with set up, cleanup, greeting and check-in for scheduled events. You may attend the program free of charge, except for any materials costs. A variety of programs are offered: gardening lectures, garden tours, hands-on workshops, yoga and ballroom dancing. You may volunteer to work at any programs that interest you.

Rose Garden
The rosarians’ dedication and ability can be seen in all three gardens. They mulch for weed control, fertilize, prune, remove faded flowers and, when time permits, take time to smell the roses. The Lilac borders also benefit from their care.

Hours: Tuesdays or Fridays, 8:00 am -12:00 pm.

Special Events
These volunteers may be unable to commit to a regular weekly schedule, but are available to assist on Special Events staffing, such as Arbor Day.

Hours: As needed.

Synoptic Garden
The Synoptic Garden is a five-acre collection of alphabetically arranged woody trees and shrubs pruned to maintain their natural shape, enabling our visitors to study them as nature intended them to grow.

Hours: Mondays through Thursdays, 9:00 am-12:00 pm.

Visitor Center Desk
If you enjoy assisting the visiting public, providing directions and suggestions for their visit, please join us at our brand new, state of the art Visitor Center.

Days/Hours Available: Monday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Garden Library
For the book-lover or library student, this is a great place for you. The Library has just been totally revamped and would like to expand its service hours to students and the visiting public.

Days/Hours Available: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays 9:00 am -2:00pm

Collections Care
Interested in working with the archives and the collections? Volunteering in Collections Care allow you to get up close and personal with the artifacts in Coe Hall. Careful cleaning of the objects, caring for the period rooms and researching potential exhibits are some of the needs of the curator. Artifacts needing this special care include Mr. Coe’s trophies and other silver pieces, the woodworking and furniture, crystal pieces, and books throughout the house. Have a special area of interest? New ideas welcome. No previous experience required.

Days Available: Mondays - Saturdays

For further information, or to receive an application, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator - Elsa Eisenberg (516) 922-8670 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Download the Volunteer Application Here




9:00 am - 5:00 pm daily

$8 per car until Nov, 18th


Self-Guided Visits to Coe Hall

11:30 am - 3:30 pm  3/27 – 10/2 daily

October Weekends only

$5 Non-Members

Members & Children under 12 are free