Wetlands & Garden Docent

You are invited to become a Hermitage Wetlands & Garden Docent! Join a group of people with similar interests, share your love of nature with others, and spend time in the idyllic setting of the Hermitage on the shore of the Lafayette River.

Wetlands & Garden docents serve as representatives of the Hermitage and support the museum by educating individuals about the wetlands, environment and gardens through our Wetlands Enrichment Tours program and other garden offerings. No previous experience or knowledge of gardens required. Docents should be energetic, willing to work outdoors, open to teaching children and groups, and interested in nature.   

About WET: Wetland’s Enrichment Tours, or WET, is a specially designed educational program aimed at bringing the Hermitage’s living shoreline restoration to life for students. The hands-on program takes place along the restored wetlands and teaches students what a wetland is, creatures and features of wetlands, why wetlands are important, and the flood buffering and filtering effects of wetlands. WET meets Virginia SOL requirements for 4th through 6th graders but can be tailored for any age group. 

About the Hermitage Gardens & Grounds: Surrounded by the Lafayette River on three sides, the Hermitage is known for its beautiful grounds which include twelve acres of semi-formal gardens, forest, a Rain Garden, and wetlands.  Both the wetlands and woodlands provide a natural habitat for hundreds of plants and animals, including a variety of waterfowl and migrating birds.

Educational Programs: The garden education program is a work in progress and the Hermitage is in the midst of developing a number of new offerings related to the gardens. In addition to WET school field-trips, these offerings include activities tailored to toddlers, pre-k children, adults and other groups, as well as Through the Garden Gate Tours, plantings, an annual Heirloom Plant Sale and activities during special Hermitage events. Volunteer opportunities are available for docents in a variety of areas of garden interests.

Active Docent Benefits:

  • Complimentary Individual Membership: enjoy all the benefits a Hermitage Membership has to offer including free admission to special events, invitations to exhibition openings, discounts in the Gift Shop, special exhibition tickets and classes and much more. 
  • Behind-the-scenes opportunities, exhibition “sneak peeks”, and the chance to learn more about nature and horticulture by working with Yolima Carr, Curator of Gardens
  • Invitation to annual docent appreciation event


  • Wetlands & Garden Docents are expected to participate in a 4-session training program (schedule varies and is flexible) to become familiar with the Hermitage and its history, the grounds, tour formats, terminology, activities, and other important elements of garden programming.
  • Docents are asked to volunteer for at least one program every 6 weeks
  • Docents are encouraged to stay up-to-date on Hermitage garden happenings by reading the monthly docent e- newsletter, participating in available training sessions and attending Hermitage events and programs when possible.

Garden programs occur all year long but are most active between March and November.

To learn more about becoming a Wetlands & Garden Docent, please contact Melissa Ball, Education Programs Manager at (757) 423-2052 x 207 or mball@thehermitagemuseum.org