Volunteer at Elizabeth Park
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Specialty Garden Volunteers
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Specialty Garden Volunteers
Specialty Garden Volunteers

The Conservancy oversees specialty gardens and has a dedicated core group of volunteers for each one. These core groups are trained for each garden and meet on a regular basis as a group to maintain their respective gardens. Each garden has special needs, and volunteers are trained by the garden leader.

Perennial Garden

Volunteers in the perennial garden meet from April to October from 9:00 a.m. to noon on selected Saturdays and Wednesdays of each month. The volunteer dates are listed in our Volunteer Work Days Calendar. The perennial garden volunteer team works with a garden leader to keep the garden in tiptop shape.

Tulip and Annual Garden

This garden does double duty as a tulip garden for the month of April and then becomes the annual garden from June to October.

Annual Garden

There is a tight timeframe to remove the tulips and replant the beds with annuals that are grown in the greenhouses. Depending on the status of the tulips, the timetable is late May to mid-June. The Conservancy horticulturist works with a handful of volunteers to remove the tulips and set up for the tulip bulb sale in late May. Once the soil is prepped, rototilled, and fertilized, the horticulturist lays out the annual plan, and the planting begins in early June to be ready for Rose Week. About 10,000 annuals are planted. By mid-summer, the garden is spectacular.

Tulip Garden

As the tulip garden, there is also a limited window to remove the annuals, prep the beds, and plant 11,000 tulips by mid-November. The Conservancy horticulturist works with a handful of volunteers to remove the annuals in mid-October. Once again, the soil is prepped and rototilled. The horticulturist lays out the tulips bulbs, and the volunteers plant them. The goal is to be finished by the first week of November. The soil in the tulip-annual garden is so finely prepared that one volunteer said, “It’s like planting in coffee grounds.”

Heritage Rose Garden

This is a garden of Old Garden Roses, which includes about two dozen of Elizabeth Park's collection of old roses, many from pre-1867, and perimeter climbing roses. This lovely, smaller garden has been renovated with funding from the Connecticut Valley Garden Club. The new design includes 10 raised stone beds, gravel paths, new fencing, and a beautiful stone retaining wall. The core group of volunteers is responsible for pruning, weeding, and deadheading the roses and work from March to October. The roses only bloom once a year, in June.

Shade Garden

The shade garden of perennials, grasses, and evergreens is enclosed on three sides by a stone wall. The volunteer core group meets Wednesday mornings in season for cleanup, dead heading, and weeding from April to October. A contractor does the major spring cleanup and any dividing of perennials.

Sunrise Overlook and East Lawn

These areas host special cleanup, pruning, and mulching days from March to October. Flexible hours and days may be arranged for one or more people with a garden leader. The overlook contains several perennial and rose beds and a large stone circular raised bed with grasses, perennials, and daffodils.


Greenhouse volunteers work with the Conservancy horticulturist to pot bulbs for the spring Greenhouse Show in late October to early November. The volunteers are trained by, and work directly with, the horticulturist in greenhouses. From mid-December to February, a small group is needed to start annuals from seed for the annual garden in the park and other locations in the city. The hours vary and must be coordinated with horticulturist.

Individual Volunteering

This is offered to experienced and trained volunteers to work in the rose garden by Adopting-a-Bed and keeping it maintained, pruned, and weed-free. You can work on your own time schedule of days, early evenings, or weekends. Volunteer on your own or with a friend.

Please check our Volunteer Work Days Calendar to see this year’s volunteer days.

For questions or information, please call: 860-231-9443, ext. 104
or email us:

Christine Doty
President and CEO

Kathy Kraczkowsky
Co-Director of Park Operations


Elizabeth Park Conservancy
1561 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford CT 06117
Map (directions)

Pond House Café
1555 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford CT 06117
860.231.8823 / phone
Map (directions)
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