Volunteer

A wide range of volunteer opportunities are available with the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, both at VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory. Over 1000 volunteers contribute their time and talents in education, visitor experience, special events, governance, administration, fundraising and special events. Volunteers are pivotal to our work and enhancing visitors’ learning and engagement experience; contributing to our mandate to connect people to plants and help them understand their role in Earth’s ecosystems. Continue reading below for more information about the variety of opportunities to volunteer.

Getting Involved

Thank you for your interest in joining our volunteer team here at VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory!

The first steps for anyone interested in volunteering are completing the volunteer application form and reading the volunteer handbook. Following this:

If you are interested in ongoing volunteer roles, attending an orientation session is your first step to becoming a volunteer. Registration is required, which you can do by clicking here. Please provide your contact details and we will be sure to let you know once our next orientation is scheduled. Prior to the orientation, please review our volunteer position descriptions below.

If you are interested in short-term or special event volunteering, you can register online directly for these under the special events tab. (No orientation or interview required). We have lots of upcoming events that need support!

Please contact Heidi Jakop, Director, Volunteer Engagement at hjakop@vandusen.org or 604.257.8674 for further information

  • +Education

    Guides

    As Garden ambassadors, VanDusen Guides invite visitors to explore and learn more about the Garden and the amazing world of plants. By offering dynamic guided tours and acting as information resources, Guides help visitors connect with VanDusen’s beautiful 55-acre garden. Guided walking and cart tours are offered daily from April to October, walking tours are also available Sunday afternoons year round weather permitting. Read the full position description>>


    School Program Leaders

    School Program Leaders engage K-4 students in interactive outdoor field trips at the Garden. Leaders work with small groups of children during 90-minute programs in the fall and spring, rain or shine. New leaders receive hands-on training in September and March, plus ample time to shadow experienced leaders before taking their own groups. Read the full position description>>


    Education Program Host

    Education Program Hosts ensure courses and education events run smoothly and successfully. They assist instructors and act as hosts, enhancing the visitor experience by creating a warm and welcoming environment. Read the full position description>>


    Spring Break Camp Assistants

    Spring Break Camp volunteers assist Camp Leaders to prepare and conduct outdoor, hands-on, activity-based camps at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Camp programs are designed to foster inquiry, discovery, understanding and appreciation for nature, and the importance of plants in our lives. Read the full position description>>

  • +Office Support and Special Projects

    Office Assistance

    Varied clerical activities include telephoning, mailings and data entry.

    Administrative Assistant

    Administrative Assistants provide support to select team leaders and directors throughout the association’s many programs and offices. Read the full position description>>

    Administrative Assistant – Adult Education

    Provides administrative assistance to the Adult Education Coordinator and aides in managing course preparation, evaluation, promotion and registration. Read the full position description>>


    Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

    The Volunteer Engagement Coordinator provides volunteer coordination and administrative support to the Director, Volunteer Engagement, for various events and programs throughout the year. Read the full position description>>


    Community Ambassadors

    Help keep the public informed about VanDusen Garden by distributing promotional material to selected locations (garden centers, libraries, community centers).


    Soil Sale Coordinator

    The Soil Sale Coordinator, works alongside the Coordinator to oversee the planning, sales, event execution and post event debrief for the twice annual VanDusen Compost, Topsoil and Manure Sale. The spring (final Sat. of Feb. or first Sat. of Mar.) and fall (last Sat. in Sept) events fundraise $20,000 – 30,000 annually. Read the full position description>>

  • +Garden Activities

    Garden Guerillas

    Assist with maintenance in the Garden. Activities include monitoring condition of benches and cleaning interpretation panels and sculptures. Some muscle work may be required.


    Seed Collectors

    Seed collectors collect, catalogue and preserve many varieties of seeds produced in the Garden that are sold in the Garden Shop and on the webstore. Volunteers can choose to attend Tuesdays or Sundays from 9:30am to 11:30am. Read the full position description>>

  • +Guest Services

    Member Services

    The Member Services Volunteer supports the Membership Program and is the first point of contact for current and potential new members to VanDusen Botanical Gardens on weekdays. The Member Services Volunteer processes memberships and provides information regarding a variety of programs and services offered at both the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and the Bloedel Conservatory. Read the full position description>>


    Visitor and Member Services

    Visitor and Member Services volunteers act as hosts and ambassadors of the Gardens through welcoming visitors, promoting memberships and Garden activities, as well as answering questions related to the garden and tourism. Read the full position description>>

  • +Special Events

    Volunteers assist with a variety of positions, making these events possible. This is a great opportunity for students, families and groups to have fun and make a difference in the Gardens and the community.

    • Festival of Lights: 
      • Volunteers are needed for VanDusen Festival of Lights between Dec. 1 – Jan. 7 (closed Christmas Day) in a variety of roles, enhancing the guest experience, taking tickets, and providing direction. This popular annual event attracts over 120,000 visitors each year when the garden is decorated with over 1 million lights spanning 15 acres. Please see the position and event details  and register to volunteer>>
    • Manure Sale: first weekend in March
    • Plant Sale: last weekend in April