exploration station at the oak park conservatory

Looking for a way to share your enthusiasm and knowledge of plants and nature?  Opportunities abound!

  • Tour Docents
    • Do you enjoy working with students, answering questions and engaging young people in discussions about plants?  Docents walk with school groups through the showrooms, focusing on the Conservatory’s rain forest and desert collections. Docents also provide tours for Diverse Learners, adults, garden clubs and other interested groups.
    • Time commitment: 1 ½ hours per tour, as scheduled.
  • Exploration Station 
    • Do you enjoy interacting with the general public, especially young children?  If so, the Exploration Station may be perfect for you!  Volunteer interpreters help visitors learn about plants through interactive displays and games.
    • Time commitment: 2 ½ hours on Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons, as scheduled.
  • Exploration Kits
    • We are offering Exploration kits to all the first grade classes in District #97. There will be opportunities in the fall to collect materials and deliver to private schools, in the winter to assemble kits, and in the spring deliver, pick-up, and replenish the kits.
    • Time commitment: Varies 
  • Toddler Exploration Time
    • This program runs on the 3rd Friday of every month, September through May (no December) from 9:30-10:15am and again from 10:45-11:30am. Each session welcomes 18 months to 5 year olds. Toddlers and their caregivers will experience nature through a story, hands-on activity, and a trip through one of the Conservatory showrooms.
    • Time commitment: 1 1/2 hours on Friday mornings, as scheduled.
  • Elsie Jacobson Discovery Garden Docent
    • This area is considered our 4th showroom and is loaded with activities for young and old alike!  Garden Hosts offer educational opportunities in the garden, to connect visitors with plants and nature.  Engage visitors by fostering curiosity and offering hands-on activities prepared by volunteers.
    • Time commitment: Two hours on Wednesday and Saturdays from 10:30am until 12:30pm, June – August
  • Story Time in the Garden
    • Share your love of books with children outside in our beautiful Discovery Garden! Weekly readers will lead groups in stories and songs. This program moves indoors during the winter months.
    • Time commitment: 2 hours, Wednesday programs run at 10am and 11am