What is SAGE?

Calling all teens! Do you love plants, nature and history? Do you enjoy interacting with children? Are you looking for a fun way to spend your summer? Do you need to complete service hours or gain positive experiences to put on your college application? Then check out the Garden’s SAGE Service Program!

The Students as Garden Educators (SAGE) program is a multi-level program for students ages 14–18. SAGE volunteers help children and families experience the Garden through fun and educational activities! Each student has the opportunity to develop job skills through leading fun activities about plants, nature and history in Garden spaces such as the Children’s Garden, Brookings Exploration Center, PlantLab and Tower Grove House. SAGE students will network with each other, as well as education, interpretation, and other professionals from the Garden throughout the summer. Grow your knowledge and enjoy a summer full of fun!

Program applicants should be out-going, willing to work outside during summer months and eager to learn new material and share their knowledge with others.

SAGE Shifts & Applications

When can I volunteer?
SAGE students can volunteer between June and October each year. Shifts are available seven days a week, 10 a.m. to noon, and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Volunteers are welcome to sign up for multiple shifts during one day. Evening hours will also be available during select event nights. Shifts can be adjusted to best fit your needs.

How and where do I apply?
Applications can be completed between February 1 and April 28, 2024.

Applicants are required to upload a letter of recommendation for consideration within the SAGE program.

Please be aware that everyone who applies is not guaranteed a spot within the SAGE program. There are limited spots available.

Did you know?
There are numerous teen volunteer opportunities at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Learn more

SAGE Benefits & Expectations

What are the benefits?
In addition to earning service hours, all SAGE students will develop job skills like public speaking, horticultural knowledge, education and more. All students have the opportunity to attend off-site field trips to get a behind-the-scenes look at sites within the Missouri Botanical Garden network. Returning students will have the opportunity to develop special projects and programs as part of the program. All participants will build relationships with the staff and other students that last a lifetime.

What are the expectations?
All students are required to attend one orientation session and two continuing education sessions throughout the program's duration. All first-year students must complete at least 50 hours of service including training. Returning students who opt in to the SAGE II level of the program must complete at least 60 hours of service including training, and third year students who opt in to the Senior SAGE level must complete at least 70 hours. All students will be asked to treat their volunteer shifts in a professional manner; they are expected to be on-time, respectful and communicate with the Garden staff about any relevant issues with scheduling, programming, etc.

For additional SAGE Service Program information, or if you have questions, contact David Evans via email at SageServiceProgram@mobot.org.