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Call for Volunteers: USBG Orchid Show Preparation

Saturday, February 15, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

United States Botanic Garden Production Facility
4700 Shepherd Parkway, SW, Washington, DC 20032

Contact: Maura Nelson   202-226-1047  

Sponsored by: United States Botanic Garden


We invite our teens/young adults/caregivers to help us prepare the magnificent orchid displays that will adorn the Conservatory. Our horticulture team has identified the following tasks as examples of areas in need of assistance:

  • Unpacking shipments of plants and organizing in the greenhouse by plant type, color, and project
  • Cutting flower stakes in half and repositioning clips
  • Epiphyte arch: Un-pot orchids, remove stakes, wrap root ball in pantyhose, attach twine for mounting
  • Assembling dried flowers in hanging baskets
  • Assembling the kokedama (soak moss spheres, pin on the orchids and moss, wrap with fishing line)

These activities will all take place at the USBG Production Facility – our offsite growing facility and the largest greenhouse supporting a public garden in the United States. This site is located about 5 miles from our downtown Conservatory along the Potomac River. This is a great opportunity to check out the “behind-the-scenes” and where the majority of our living plant collection is housed. There is sufficient parking available – but no public transit (metro, bus, etc.) options.

We are looking for approximately 40 helpers total (20 per shift) on Saturday, February 15 during the following shifts:

10 a.m.- 12 p.m.
1-3 p.m.


Please let Maura Nelson (202-226-1047) know if you’d like to join us and how many of your party will be working. If you plan to hang out with us for both shifts, we recommend a bagged lunch as there are no convenient food/lunch facilities nearby (we do have snack & drink vending machines). You will have access to the staff breakroom and kitchenette for keeping food cool and heating up items in a microwave.

As this is a little different venue and a working greenhouse, Maura will send out visuals and sensory tip sheets in advance to our confirmed families.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. We look forward to having you with us.

Discover the World of Orchids

Come explore the world of orchids! In celebration of the U.S. Botanic Garden’s bicentennial year, this year’s orchid show celebrates plant exploration and how orchids have been found throughout the world, on every continent except Antarctica. A special feature will be a natural Manila hemp rope sculpture installation by artist Susan Beallor-Snyder. Explore thousands of orchid blooms throughout the Conservatory from the USBG and Smithsonian Gardens’ extensive plant collections, and join us to discover the world of orchids!

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