Calling all kids! Do you love plants and nature? Are you looking for a fun way to spend your summer outdoors? Do you need to complete service hours or gain positive experiences to put on your college application? Volunteer with the Missouri Botanical Garden’s SAGE Service Program. SAGE stands for Students as Garden Educators and is a program to teach young visitors about the wonders of nature. The program is open to any St. Louis-area student, age 14 through 18, who is outgoing and eager to share knowledge with others. Applications will be accepted through Mar. 26 for May through October volunteer positions.


SAGE volunteers work in the outdoor Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden, a two-acre family attraction designed to educate through play. Volunteers will work with Garden staff to plant seeds of knowledge and inspire the Garden’s youngest visitors to enjoy nature. SAGE participants learn good science, improve public speaking skills, and have fun working outdoors in the beautiful Garden with other high school students in the region.


Students will help to enrich visitors’ experiences with discovery and learning at seven themed


“Germination Stations.” Wear a headlamp to lead children on a Missouri cave experience, explaining the unique formations. Help children learn about trees, but in an active way, donning tree costumes and using puppet games. Kids have “bushels of fun” learning about food plants, past and present, in the General Store as SAGE volunteers make dough or preserves and play “Can You Guess this Scent?” with herbs and spices. Instill an appreciation for nature inside the Nature Explore Classroom™, where children can dig in the mud, hunt for an insect, or make art from flower petals. Share the important roles wetlands play in Missouri, from absorbing flood water to hosting rich biodiversity.


SAGE participants must complete an application and attend an orientation on Saturday, Apr. 24 or Saturday May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Evening hours are also available on Wednesdays and Thursdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Shifts are flexible and staff will work to accommodate participants’ work schedules, summer school, vacation plans, and other commitments. Students are asked to volunteer a minimum of 50 hours.


To apply, download an application at www.mobot.org/education/sageservice/ and send the completed form to the Missouri Botanical Garden, attention Lynn Braun/SAGE Program, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Mo. 63166-0299. Applications are due by Friday, Mar. 26.


For questions or more information, contact Lynn Braun at (314) 577-9425 or SAGE.service@mobot.org.


The Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest continually operating botanical garden in the nation, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2009. Missouri Botanical Garden: Green for 150 Years.