Volunteer | LSU Hilltop Arboretum

Volunteer

Come and be a part of Hilltop!

We need volunteers like you to help us with our Hodge Podge Nursery that meets weekly most of the year,  and also help with seasonal plant sales, garden tours, and site work days.

The 14-acre property known as Hilltop was donated to Louisiana State University by Emory Smith, a retired postal worker with a decided passion for plants, particularly those native to Louisiana. In the interest of sharing his enthusiasm, he shared and encouraged the sharing of plants.

The Friends of Hilltop “Hodge Podge” group has followed his lead by giving the Arboretum’s friends and fans the opportunity to scour their gardens for plants in need of a new home. From its humble beginnings as a quiet corner at the annual October plant sale, Hodge Podge has literally “blossomed” into a volunteer mini-nursery operation that boasts upwards of 2,500 plants representing 300 different species.

In his dictionary, Mr. Webster defines Hodge Podge (hoj’poj’) as “a stew of various ingredients”. That we are!!! Taking our cue from Emory Smith, we have established a delightfully spunky mix of people, native plants and other plants that behave in the garden.

You are cordially invited to come “putter” with the Podge. We gather most Wednesdays beginning around 9:00 a.m. and adjourning around noon for a modest pot luck repast. Our mantra is: “Come when you want, if you want and stay for as long as you want”. You’ll be glad you did, and so will we!!!

Hodge Podge Volunteer around the dirt bin


Want a few more details? Take a sneak peek behind the scenes with our volunteers from the Hodge Podge Plant Nursery. 

Get Involved

Email us at hilltop@lsu.edu and let us know your volunteer interests. We send weekly reminders for Hodge Podge Nursery activities, and for other volunteer events as needed. Master gardeners received Service Credit for all Hilltop volunteer activities.