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, we would love to meet you at our upcoming orientation session on November 4th, here at Van Dusen Gardens from 10am-2pm. Registration is required, which you can do by clicking here. 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


    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>>

  • +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 oversees 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.

    • Soil Sale: Volunteers assist with bagging product prior to the event (really important!), assist with loading product into vehicles, accepting payment and with traffic control for the pre-sale days (mid-week the week prior to the event) and for the event day (last weekend in September). Volunteers are needed between Sept 23 – Oct 2. To volunteer, please click here
    • VanDusen Glow in the Garden invites you to join us this Halloween for an adventure through a whimsical garden. Volunteers are needed from October 24 to October 31   from 4:30 pm to 9 pm. Volunteers bring this magical event alive as Greeters, Wayfinders, and Craft Assistants. Please see the event details and position descriptions. To volunteer, please click here>>
    • Festival of Lights: Please join us to work behind the scenes to stage this magical annual seasonal event. Volunteers work in teams to test light bulbs in a fun and friendly setting while enjoying the terrific company and tasty refreshments. Volunteers are needed weekdays between September 18 – November 3 from 10am-2pm To volunteer, please click here
    • Artists for Conservation Festival: Join AFC at VanDusen November 9-13 for the world’s top conservation-themed art exhibit at VanDusen, featuring many of the world’s leading nature artists. Enjoy a host of art and nature-focused activities – art demos, live music, films, art workshops, crafts, and live birds of prey. Volunteers are needed for a range of positions. Learn more about the AFC Festival hereTo volunteer, please click here >>
    • Manure Sale: first weekend in March
    • Plant Sale: last weekend in April