Adopt-a-Garden at the Louisville Zoo - beautiful pink pedel open flower, with lots of greenery in the background


Adopt a Garden LogoDo you like spend your “thyme” gardening? Have a “green thumb”? Spring is just around the corner and you might really “dig” the Louisville Zoo’s Adopt-A-Garden Program! The Louisville Zoo’s Horticulture Department is welcoming volunteer garden enthusiasts to participate in the care of our inviting and inspiring park-like setting.

Participating in the Adopt-A-Garden program is the perfect way for experienced gardeners to “branch out” and earn some bragging rights by caring for an accredited botanical garden! Are you ready to spread your roots to a larger area? By volunteering, you can display your gardening prowess to over 800,000 guests who visit the Louisville Zoo each year! 

Individuals, families, and groups (ages 18+) may adopt a specific, pre-determined garden site. A sign at each site will display the Adopt-A-Garden name or group name of the volunteer(s) caring for it.

If you are interested in participating, you must attend an orientation session to learn all the necessary details about the Adopt-A-Garden program on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 9 – 11 a.m. in the ZooVision conference room at the Louisville Zoo. See more information online here. Our Horticulture Department Supervisor, William Nay, and our Volunteer Coordinator, Diane Taylor, look forward to getting you started.

Following orientation, participants must submit a gardening plan proposal for their area to the Horticulture Department Supervisor for review and approval prior to beginning work at the site. Plan evaluation will be based on factors such as plant characteristics and growth requirements, growing conditions such as sun/shade, possible toxicity to animals, invasiveness, etc.

The participants will be responsible for maintenance of their site throughout the growing season,as well as spring and autumn bed cleanup. The Zoo will provide water hoses and sprinklers, but participants will need to bring their own gardening tools.

Adopt-A-Garden Volunteers receive a discount for purchasing plants from Frank Otte Nursery and Garden Center at select store locations. The cost of the plants may be tax deductible.

This program runs from March through November of 2016. Please keep in mind, this is a program for experienced gardeners that can lend their expertise in the beautification of the park — no formal training is provided. For additional information and to R.S.V.P. for the orientation, please contact Diane Taylor, Coordinator of Volunteers, at

For other volunteer opportunities at the Louisville Zoo, click here. Thanks for your support!