Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer at one of Boston's most beautiful sites for art, history and nature, and contribute to the Trust's innovating programming at Forest Hills. Our volunteer opportunities make you part of a growing community of people who see Forest Hills as a treasured public resource and help
to make it welcoming to the public.

Time commitments vary according to your interests. You can volunteer for just a few hours or by helping to staff a special event or concert, assist with outreachdistribute our materials in your neighborhood every 6 weeks, or come in weekly to accomplish a project such as cataloguing books in our library. We are also looking for volunteer Tour Guide who will commit to one year of service and learning about Forest Hills in depth.

Semester or year long work-study internships are available for college students, but volunteer positions are open to people of all ages, from teens to seniors.

A detailed description of some of our specific volunteer needs follows, but you can also contact the office to discuss your interests, specific skills, and availability. The best way to get in touch with us about volunteering is to send an email to info@foresthillstrust.org. Thank you for your interest and support!

July: Lantern Festival
This annual event, inspired by the traditional Japanese Bon Festival, brings together more than 3,000 people to remember family and friends who have died. An evening of music and dance ends with thousands of candlelit lanterns floating across the moonlit lake, symbolizing the journey of souls. The generous participation of almost 100 volunteers make this event possible every year.

  • Opportunities include: Assistant Stage Manager, Calligrapher (Japanese or Chinese), Greeter, Crowd Control, Parking Assistant, Survey-taker.
    Number of volunteers needed: Up to 60.
    Time commitment: One or more shifts of 1-1/2 to 3 hours each, the evening of the Lantern Festival (July 14 in 2005).
  • Shade-making parties: in preparation for the festival we hold shade making parties in June. Dozens of people gather to make 1,000 paper lantern-shades, with light dinner and good company provided. Dates to be set.

November: Day of the Dead
This annual event brings Mexico's ancient ritual to Boston. Children and adults perform traditional music and dance celebrating the cycles of life, while visitors bring mementos to lay on a candlelit altar.

  • Opportunities include: Set-up, Greeter, Crowd Control, Lantern Supervisor, Clean-up. Number of volunteers needed: 8 to 12. Time commitment: November 2 from 3 to 7 pm

May through October: Outdoor Events
Special events occur throughout the warmer months, including receptions for outdoor art exhibitions, performance events, monthly tours, our annual fall Dog Walk, and other one-time events.

  • Opportunities include: Set-up, Greeter, Info Table, Crowd Control, Clean-up.
    Number of volunteers needed: Variable. Time commitment: 3 to 6 hours, one day (or more, if interested).

October through May: Concerts and Poetry Readings
In the colder months, concerts and poetry readings draw audiences of 50 to 150 to beautiful Forsyth Chapel at the entrance to the cemetery. The concerts feature diverse music that takes advantage of the rich acoustics of this intimate space. The poetry series, organized by Tapestry of Voices, feature four local writers at each event. Concert and poetry volunteers choose events that fit their schedules.

  • Opportunities include: Ushers, ticket takers, and greeters.Volunteer event staff enjoy the concerts and poetry from balcony seats once their work is completed. Time: Sunday afternoons. Poetry: 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Concerts: 3:15 to 6:15 pm.

Ongoing: Volunteer Tour Guides
Monthly tours focusing on history, Victorian sculpture, or contemporary art guide groups of 15 to 100 through the grounds, illuminating the art and history of the cemetery. Veteran tour guide Al Maze will provide intensive training to those who want to serve as history tour leaders. Other staff will train those interested in leading tours on Victorian or contemporary art.

Time frame: Tours typically take place Sundays at 2, requiring prep time plus one Sunday a month from 1:30 to 4 pm. Twighlight tours are scheduled in the early evenings during the hottest months, either on Sunday or during the week after work.
Minimum commitment: One year.

  • If you have an area of specific expertise such as birding, horticulture, interactive family tours, or architecture, we may be able to work with you to develop a special tour.

Ongoing: Office Work
The Trust office is always in need of skilled and careful office workers willing to do data entry, filing, mailing, cataloguing and other routine tasks in a congenial environment. This help behind the scenes really makes a difference as we manage our busy schedule of events and programs. Time frame: During business hours, by arrangement.

Ongoing: Archive Assistant
This volunteer will work with our part time archivist to organize and catalogue materials held in our archives or library. People with library, archive, and/or database experience are encouraged to apply. Time frame: During business hours, by arrangement
Minimum commitment: One semester or six months.