Volunteer

There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities available here at VanDusen Botanical Garden and at Bloedel Conservatory. Before starting as a volunteer, you’ll need to attend an orientation session. Continue reading below for more information.

2017 Orientation Dates

  • Saturday, March 4
  • Saturday, May 6
  • Saturday, September 9
  • Saturday, November 4

Pre-registration for orientations is required. To register, email volunteer@vandusen.org

Education

Guides

Explore VanDusen Garden.

VanDusen Guides – our Garden ambassadors – 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.

The eight week Guide Basic Training course starts in April. Covering practical interpretation skills, basic botany, and an overview of Guiding, the course prepares new Guides for apprenticeship and further learning.

Bloedel Roving Docents

Bloedel Docents, our ambassadors at Bloedel Conservatory, enhance the visitor experience by sharing information and stories about plants and bird life and by answering visitor questions.

This is opportunity requires 2 regular shifts per month on selected weekdays and on Saturdays or Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Comprehensive training program will take place on Saturdays from January 8 to February 25, 2017.

School Program Leaders

School Program Leaders engage elementary-aged students in outdoor, hands-on, activity-based field trips at the Garden. Volunteers work with small groups of children, and lead 5 different, 90-minute programs that take place in the fall and spring, rain or shine.

Summer Nature Camp

Volunteers help our summer camp staff to run active, outdoors, nature-based programs for children ages 5 – 11. Training is offered in late June and programs run all July and August. Ideal for students ages 16 and up.

Teaching Assistants

Assist instructors during garden courses in the Adult Education program. This is primarily an evening and weekend opportunity and may involve helping instructors to set up, take attendance/registration, administer evaluations, and clean up.

Clerical Activites

Office Assistance

Varied clerical activities include telephoning, mailings and data entry.

Garden Activites

Dried Flower Arrangers

Prepare and tend cutting garden. Pick and dry flowers and make arrangements to sell at the Garden. Meet Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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.

Garden Shop

Help customers in the VanDusen Garden Shop and assist staff with creation of displays and placement of merchandise.

Labellers

Make display labels and place in Garden beds to assist visitors with identification of plants.

Library

Volunteers staff the library on weekends and evenings.

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 theirwebstore. Volunteers can choose to attend Tuesdays or Sundays from 9:30am to 11:30am.

Public Relations

Community Ambassadors

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

Guest Services

Membership

Sell memberships at special events. Process membership applications in the database and mail cards.

Visitor Services

Are you a “people person”, enthusiastic about this Garden and your city? How about being an in-house concierge at the Information Desk? Join the Visitor Services volunteers who greet and welcome visitors, promote Garden activities and membership as well as answer questions related to tourism and the Garden.

Special Events

Volunteers assist with a variety of positions. Good opportunity for students.

  • Compost Sale: last weekend in September
  • Festival of Lights: weekdays in November (prepare lights for installation) evenings in December (greet visitors)
  • Manure Sale: first weekend in March
  • Plant Sale: last weekend in April