Thank you for your interest in volunteering your time and talents with the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association.
A wide range of volunteer opportunities are available with the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, both at VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory. Each year, approximately 850 volunteers contribute their time and talents in education, visitor experience, governance, administration, fundraising and special events. Volunteers are pivotal to enhancing visitors’ learning and engagement experience and contributing to our mandate to connect people to plants and help them understand their role in Earth’s ecosystems.
The mission of VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory is to engage people of all ages and walks of life in the importance of biodiversity to our lives, and to foster a lifelong love of plants and gardens by virtue of their participation in our programs and services. We’re excited that you are interested in volunteering to be a part of this mission.
Already an Existing Volunteer? Log In Here
+-How to Start Volunteering
Your first step to start volunteering is to complete the volunteer application form. Once completed, you may sign up for currently available volunteer opportunities.
If you need a hand, please see:
How to Video Tutorial: Reset Password, Log Hours, Update Contact Details, and Sign Up for Roles and Activities:
- If you already have a myvolunteerpage account, you can login to your account by clicking here and selecting the log into your account link at the top right of the page
Once you have completed your volunteer application and applied to volunteer position(s) we will review your application and resume (if applicable, which can be uploaded while completing your volunteer application form).
Volunteers in regular, ongoing roles are required to be current members of the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA). Those volunteering a few days per year at events are not required to be members. To learn more and purchase a membership, please click here.
Our goal is to find a great fit between volunteer talents, passions, and skills and align them with volunteer opportunities where both the prospective volunteer and the volunteer program can best flourish. Hence, for many roles you can expect to have a phone interview to allow you to learn more about the opportunity and for us to ensure we have a great fit. References and criminal record checks may follow based on the role.
Once assigned to a volunteer position, we ask all volunteers to read and become familiar with our Volunteer Handbook. Volunteers will also receive orientation and role specific training. Ongoing support, guidance, and recognition can also be expected.
Please contact Becky Tinsley, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at email@example.com or 604.257.8369 for further information.
Thank you again for your support!
+-The Volunteer Experience
“Volunteering has been a passion of mine for most of my adult life and I benefit from the feeling that I am giving back to the community through volunteering. One finds that the responsibilities and diversity of volunteering play a big part in developing a fuller life. At VanDusen Gardens, the opportunity to welcome visitors and members captivating them and making their visit very special is a constant reminder as to what is so unique about the Visitor Services Desk.” – Linda
“It is a wonderful experience for me to volunteer at VanDusen Garden. All the leaders and the teacher are really nice and gentle, and the nature and the kids are amazing. It is great to see kids having contact with nature, learning, and not just play with their electric device. The thing that I enjoyed most is the environment and the friendly atmosphere in VanDusen Garden. I enjoy helping people, and all the time I have been treated as part of the team. Every time I reached VanDusen garden, my mood turns good.” – Esther (Yue Ning)
“I had a fantastic time with the summer camp in the short time I was there! I enjoyed the garden’s atmosphere and exploring it with the campers. The children were very energetic and being able to be with them the whole day was exciting. It was a pleasure to accompany them while they learned and played, and I’m very glad that I was able to contribute. I’d love to volunteer at VanDusen again in the future!” – Judy
“I’d like to thank VanDusen camps for the opportunity to volunteer with them. I not only had a ton of fun with the kids, but I also learned how to deal with different types of challenges and awkward situations throughout the course of 5 short days…
“Working with kids challenged my mind to think creatively and objectively to resolve an identified issue. Most importantly, though, I’d like to thank VanDusen camps for reminding me to tap back into my “inner child”, which believes that nature is the fascination that brings me, my friends and my family the most joy.
Thank you for all your time and efforts, Chantal! And thank you VanDusen! I’ll definitely be back soon with my family for more adventures.” – Kelly
+-Recognizing the Impact of our Volunteers
Volunteers are pivotal to our work connecting people to plants. The impact of Volunteers can be measured through countless interactions with guests, such as a child’s wide-eyed amazement as they explore the Conservatory with a Docent who brings the experience to life. In 2022, VanDusen Guides provided botanical walking tours to over 1,800 guests and cart tours for 2,000 visitors with mobility challenges and their guests, and enhanced over 6,000 visitor experiences at the Guide Information Trolley. Garden Hosts provided a warm welcome and visitor information to over 6,200 visitors and members at the Membership Desk at VanDusen Visitor Centre, and Discovery Station volunteers facilitated interactive environmental educational activities with over 1,500 visitors in just two short months.
More important than numbers alone are the people who have been inspired, educated, and connected to plants through volunteer efforts. Thanks to volunteers, school groups experience engaging educational opportunities; visitors are inspired and informed as they explore the library over extended hours; gardeners locally and across the globe can bring home a piece of VanDusen through planting our seeds; and our annual Plant Sale brings the community together. Thanks to you, together we are able to achieve our mission.
The VBGA has a wide array of volunteer opportunities and these dedicated teams, really bring the Garden to life, here are just a few.
Seed Collectors: Celebrating 40 Years
Today’s Seed Collectors are true to the mandate first defined 40 years ago by Garden curator Roy Forster and volunteer Mary Palmore. They harvest, record, preserve, and sell seeds from Garden plants. Read more >>
The Volunteer Representatives meet every 6 weeks to share and gain information and communicate back to their own teams. Read more >>
Library volunteers are integral to the running of the Yosef Wosk Library & Resource Centre, supporting Library visitors and members, Book Clubs, and Pre-School Storytime. Read more >>
Adult Education Hosts
This welcoming group of volunteers takes delight in fostering participant engagement in our education classes for adults. Read more >>
School Program Leaders
This dedicated group of volunteers lead elementary school children on interactive guided programs around the Garden and Conservatory. Read more>>
Visitor Services and Member Services
Visitor Services and Member Services volunteers are two distinct groups that, together, provide seamless service at the Visitor Centre Information/Membership Desk. Read more>>
Docents serve as ambassadors – welcoming visitors to Bloedel and ensuring that those visitors have a friendly, informed, and satisfying experience while there. Read more>>
Plant Sale Volunteers
The Plant Sale is about community. As the longest running volunteer-driven event at the Garden it has facilitated enduring friendships. It is the only annual event where free admission gives VanDusen Botanical Garden an opportunity to share its green oasis with everyone. Read more>>
“It was Roy Forster’s idea to have Guides, the first ones were recruited and trained in 1974.” The tradition continues: now Guides lead walks and cart tours in the Garden, sharing what they know and love with our visitors. Read more>>
The spirit that, “Every flower of every tomorrow are in the seeds of today” is embodied by VanDusen Botanical Garden’s volunteer Seed Collectors, who are celebrating their 35th Anniversary. Read more >>
The spirit that, “Every flower of Our Soil Sales are great fund-raisers — but before anybody can buy the soil, somebody has to pick up a shovel and fill the bags. Since 2017, some Langara College student volunteers have made that their specialty. Read more>>
Today in the Garden
Highly knowledgeable volunteers gather, identify and arrange flowers and flora along the welcome walkway for visitors to learn more about what to expect “today in the garden.” Read More >>
+-Meet our Volunteers
Lynne Irwin is passionate when speaking of the Garden. Her face lights up and her hands move along energetically. “I’ve seen what this garden does for people – especially in pain.” She tells of visitors she has met, who may be struggling personally and who come for some peace. Read more about Lynne »
New to the Board in February 2020, Rozanne Kipnes meets with her colleagues strictly online — but there’s nothing virtual about her relationship with the Garden itself. Read more about Rozanne »
With 20 years’ experience as a children’s story teller in the public library system, Linda knows how to draw people in, share information they’ll find interesting. Read more about Linda »
“I’ve always felt close to the VanDusen,” says Board member Ann-Marie Copping, and it’s literal truth. As a child, she not only lived nearby, she (now it can be told) used to hop over the fence for unauthorized but deeply satisfying visits. Read more about Anne-Marie »
Susan Witter joined the Board relatively recently, in April 2019, but she has known both the Garden and the Conservatory literally forever. “My parents were avid VanDusen volunteers right from 1975 until the early 90s, especially for Plant Sales, and I and my own family have always been regular visitors as well.” Read more about Susan »
Looking for a volunteer outlet, Dennis Johnston turned up at the Garden in 2017. “I’m a born Vancouverite, I love the city and gardening and working with the community, so the VanDusen seemed a good fit.” Read more about Dennis »
Betty Andres became a VanDusen volunteer in 2005, after repeated visits with a keen photographer friend. “I thought: ‘What a wonderful place!’ Also, the timing was right — I was approaching retirement.”
Read more about Betty »
“We’re such good buddies,” says Vivien Clarke, and there you have it — the reason why she and husband Patrick are both VanDusen volunteers and belong to the same Garden Guide team.
Read more about Vivien and Patrick »
“What I like so much about the Garden,” says Cathy Chiba, a School Programs volunteer since 2014, “is that, even though it is a designed environment, it is still a garden! We’re outdoors, dealing with living things.
Read more about Cathy »
Jeremy now has 25 years under his belt as Bird Walk Volunteer. Read more about Jeremy >>
+-Volunteer Resources: Handbook, Tutorials, and Guidelines
- Volunteer Handbook
- Better Impact (MyImpactPage) Tutorials:
- MyImpactPage Video Tutorial: Reset Password, Log Hours, Update Contact Details, and Sign Up for Roles and Activities:
- How to Create a Volunteer Profile