Arsenal CO House

Volunteer on Governors Island

Arsenal CO HouseSpend some quality time on Governors Island – as a volunteer!  The Governors Island volunteer corps performs critical tasks from maintaining the Island’s lush landscapes to enhancing the visitor experience. With 172 acres, there’s a lot of ground to cover and many ways to lend a hand. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil gardening retreat or a lively social scene, the robust Volunteer Program has something for everyone.

Volunteering on Governors Island is easy! Just follow these four steps:

    1. Review our available positions below and find one that’s right for you.
    2. Fill out a quick, easy online application.
    3. Attend a volunteer orientation and training.
    4. Have fun!

Team Volunteering
Spend a rewarding half day digging in the dirt! Available to corporate members at the Sustainer level and above, Team Volunteer Days are custom-tailored to the size and interests of your group. They will work with you to develop a signature project and a schedule of activities that addresses your goals while also meeting the Island’s needs. Sample projects include:

Gardening in the Park: Volunteers work on pruning, weeding and separating perennials to improve growth, appearance and plant bed health in the manicured landscapes of Liggett Terrace. The goal is to ensure this unique 4-acre space with its hedge labyrinth, play fountains, art, and bistro seating remains in world-class condition.

Preserving and Restoring Historic Landscapes: Volunteers help revitalize the grassy areas and garden beds surrounding the foundations of the 19 landmarked former officers’ homes in Nolan Park. The goal is to return the landscapes of this Historic District to their original 19th-century beauty through tilling, aerating, mulching, weeding and re-planting.


Governors Gardener

Got a green thumb? Imagine bringing your talents to a verdant island oasis in the heart of New York City. Get your hands dirty caring for the new 40-acre park with its beautiful open lawns, manicured beds and landscaped hillsides. Or work amid the splendor of the historic district with its landmarked homes, canopies of mature trees and flower beds originally planted in the early 20th century.
Activities include:

  • Tending the spectacular landscapes of the new park
  • Restoring and preserving plantings in the historic district
  • Seeding and cutting back wildflowers and native grasses
  • Learning to conduct soil moisture readings and tree inventory

Shifts available on weekdays in spring and fall; weekends and weekdays in summer. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of ten 4-hour shifts. Must be 18 or older. Gardening experience is a plus but not required.

Apply now for March 2016 start date


Want to get a sneak preview of the coolest addition to the new park? Help introduce the Hills on Governors Island to the world! Opening in 2016, the Hills are an audacious feat of engineering and design offering unforgettable views of New York Harbor. Assistants are needed to help with tours during the final phases of construction, as well as after the Hills officially open to the public.

Activities include:

  • Accompanying tours for civic and community groups, including hard-hat previews
  • Accompanying public tours
  • Answering questions and providing information about the Hills and their construction

Shifts available on weekday afternoons in spring; weekends and weekdays in summer. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of four 4-hour shifts. Must be 18 or older.

Apply now for April 2016 start date


Excited about Governors Island and want to share your enthusiasm with other visitors? As an Ambassador, you’ll receive insider training on the Island’s design and history, as well as all the free arts, cultural and recreational programming happening each weekend.

Activities include:

  • Serving as a welcoming resource for visitors at different key locations across the Island
  • Answering visitors’ questions about the Island’s physical and programmatic attractions
  • Assisting with public events and programs
  • Collecting data to improve the visitor experience

Shifts available on weekends from May through September. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of four 4-hour shifts. Must be 16 or older.

Apply now for May 2016 start date


Eager to volunteer but unable to commit to multiple shifts? Help out at our Annual Family Festival on Sunday, May 28, or pitch in periodically at other fabulous events throughout the season, such as the opening of the Hills.

Activities include:

  • Helping to set-up and break-down special events and programs
  • Greeting and directing event attendees
  • Engaging families in arts and crafts projects, fun games and activities with programmers and performers
  • Assisting with logistics for tours and Corporate Member events

Shifts and commitments vary depending on event schedules. Must be 16 or older.

Apply now for April 2016 start date

Additional volunteering opportunities on Governors Island are available through these organizations: