In 1966, a group of committed citizens established a registered charitable organization which is now known as the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA). The VBGA’s first Members and Donors worked with the City, the Provincial Government, Vancouver Foundation and W.J. VanDusen to raise the money needed to purchase the land on which our Garden now grows, thus saving it from commercial redevelopment.
Since VanDusen Botanical Garden opened to the public in 1975, the VBGA has offered educational programs and tours to connect people to plants. Our Mission is to inspire understanding of the vital importance of plants to all life through the excellence of our botanical collections, programs and practices.
Each year, the VBGA delivers over 150 education and outreach programs to thousands of participants at VanDusen Garden and Bloedel Conservatory. We provide top-notch experiences facilitated and led by some of the most experienced educators, facilitators, gardeners, horticulturists and botanists in Canada.
Thanks to the efforts of the Association’s Founding Members and Donors, and with ongoing support from VBGA Members, Garden Donors and Friends like you, we will continue to cultivate these beautiful and diverse collections for all generations to explore and enjoy.
+-Ways to Give
Your gifts can be directed towards a special program or project or they can be unrestricted. Unrestricted gifts are directed by the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA) to where they are most needed right now.
VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory are enhanced annually with donations from VBGA members, Garden friends, foundations and corporations.
Your annual or special gift will assist the Garden and Conservatory to:
- Education programs for learners of all ages
- The Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre – the largest public-access botanical library in western Canada
- Volunteer development and training
- Plant Collections and Garden enhancements
We are also seeking ‘Seed Money’ for new Education initiatives such as:
- Development of programs that use GPS technology as a tool for older students in curriculum and nature-based studies in the Garden – helps to motivate and greatly increase learning opportunities for this age group which is currently under-represented in the Garden
- Development of multiple self-guided options for school groups – allows for expanded integration of interdisciplinary studies tailored to the needs of individual teachers
- Development of a database for Summer Camp registrations
- New display and teaching materials to create an inspirational learning environment in the new Visitor Centre’s education classroom
Contribute through Membership Renewal
Your continued Membership and gifts will enrich the Garden and Bloedel in so many ways and support education, interpretation, conservation and much more.
Become a Monthly Donor
You can make a significant difference for the VBGA by becoming a Monthly Donor.
And it’s easy! No more filling out forms, writing cheques or paying for postage, and you can cancel your commitment at any time.
Plus, when you become a Monthly Donor, the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association can put the money saved through less administration towards much needed programs and services. Here are a few examples:
$10 per month will purchase a subscription to botanical garden and/or arboretum magazines for our library
$20 per month will pay registration fees for 20 Youth Education Volunteers to attend an enhanced training session
$30 per month will pay for the participation of 42 children in one of the VBGA’s School Programs
$50 per month will assist in paying for plant labeling or interpretative signage in the Garden or at Bloedel.
Matching or Challenge Gift
You may wish to consider making a Matching or Challenge Gift to donors who increase their commitment to the Garden or to those who have not given in the past two years but make a gift in the current year. The Matching or Challenge Gift is a highly successful program. For example, a matching challenge was made to Garden members to become first-time donors to a total match of $10,000. This challenge resulted in our welcoming 79 new donors to the Association who gave a total of $7,900.
If you wish to donate online, click the button above to donate via canadahelps.org, an e-donations portal where donors can make online credit card donations to registered Canadian charities. They will process your donation and send it to us less a 3% transaction fee.
Mail, Fax or Drop off your Donor Form
Your donation of any amount is appreciated. Even a modest monthly donation can add up to a significant gift over the course of a year. To donate please complete the donor form or feel free to contact the Development Office to make your gift.
Charitable tax receipts are provided for outright and pledged gifts of $20 or more.
Note: 2018 charitable tax receipts will be provided for any mail-in donation postmarked by December 31, 2018.
Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association
5251 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1
Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association Charitable Registration Number 11928 1301 RR0001
The Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association does not sell or lend its member or donor information. If you would like to change the way you receive information from the VBGA, please contact us by e-mail at or telephone 604-257-8190.
+-Annual Programs, Projects & Current Needs
Your Gift to Mother Nature’s Classroom makes a difference.
Children’s Education Programs
“This was the best field trip ever!”
With your support, we can continue to provide meaningful and fun experiences to teach and inspire children.
Help us introduce more children to the wonders of the natural world in VanDusen’s 55-acre classroom and the tropical gardens of Bloedel Conservatory.
Our School Programs service an average 3,000 students per year. Gifts to these programs assist in underwriting the costs to ensure fees are affordable for classes.
Schools who have the capability to pay the $8 per student fee for our guided field trips do provide a portion of the funds required to provide these programs, however the VBGA subsidizes these programs with $8.50 per student to cover the total programming costs.
Your gift will help enhance and expand the children’s education programming as well as provide seed money to develop new programs.
Nature Express Bursary
Your gift will enable financially-challenged schools to attend our School Programs, through VanDusen’s Nature Express Bursary Program, totally funded by donor support.
This Bursary was established to ensure schools who were not able to pay the user fees would be able to participate in classes in VanDusen’s outdoor classroom. Each donation of $600 provides full funding for up to two classes to participate through the Nature Express Bursary and provides partial funding for volunteer training and course development. Your donation to the Nature Express Bursary will assist the program to reach a larger number of classes.
Here’s what your donation to School Programs will accomplish:
- $215 will underwrite the program costs for a class 25 students. (To ensure accessibility for schools, the VBGA only charges $7.50 per student, but the real, full cost of funding the programming for school groups is $16 per student.)
- $350 will cover the printing cost to produce a special complimentary family pass for every child that participates in a school program. This one-time admission is a new initiative that we hope will encourage children across Metro Vancouver to bring their families to the Garden.
- $175 will assist to train our essential volunteer School Program Leaders and equip them with teaching aids and props
- $1,000 will update, enhance and produce the curriculum-based pre-visit materials provided to teachers
Nature Camps for Kids
“The girls LOVED camp! Your camp is hands down the best the girls have been to – I love that they’re outdoors and learning and so brimming with fun and curiosity when I pick them up.”
A carefully crafted blend of fun, science, outdoor exploring, art and games in the Garden, VanDusen’s Nature Camps offer children a wonderful week in our amazing and inspiring Garden.
Your gift will help a child from a financially-challenged family to attend; as well as growing and enriching the program.
Here’s what your donation will accomplish:
- $230 will provide a scholarship for a summer camper to participate in a one-week Summer Nature Camp providing much-needed opportunities for financially-challenged urban children to reconnect with nature
- $300 will allow VanDusen to hire a junior counselor for a one-week Summer Camp program
- $65 will purchase the art supplies for a one-week Summer Camp program
- $200 will fund children’s nature books, games and puzzles
Bloedel Tropical Conservatory Programs and Projects
In January 2013, VanDusen and the Bloedel Conservatory officially amalgamated. Your donation to Bloedel programs and projects will assist in funding interactive displays, educational programs and Bloedel’s birds.
- Interactive Displays – Help us to create hands-on exhibits that invite all visitors to explore the inner workings of a tropical rainforest. Your donation to this project will allow us to design and create interactive displays about the flora and fauna of this lush ecosystem.
- Educational Programming – You may choose to direct your donation to developing educational programs for school groups, community groups and visitors, including self-guided materials as well as enhancing Bloedel’s volunteer docent program.
- Over 170 birds of various species call the Bloedel Conservatory home and fly freely within its spacious dome. If you wish, your contribution can be directed to the care and feeding of Bloedel’s flock.
Adult Education Programs
Lifelong learners benefit from your annual support as well. The VBGA offers more than 120 adult education programs a year. These include workshops, courses, lectures, and interpretive walks. A number of these programs are available free with membership or with Garden admission. It is our mandate to offer a range of programs for adults from diverse backgrounds.
Our adult participants find answers, intrigue, health, like-minds and career development in classes that range from grafting to yoga to.
Your gift allows us to offer a greater variety in the workshops, tours and lectures at accessible prices, as well as develop new and exciting programs.
The Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre
Western Canada’s largest public-access botanical and horticultural library houses a unique collection of over 6,000 volumes at the Garden.
Your annual gift to the Library will contribute to acquisition – increasing our patron services and our international connections.
Volunteer Development and Training
The VBGA’s committed volunteers are one of our greatest resources. More than 1,600 volunteers are working throughout the year. The VBGA offers a comprehensive volunteer program, holding five intensive orientations per year. This is followed by program-specific training to ensure that volunteers are prepared for their roles and kept current on subjects such as plant conservation, biodiversity, docent techniques and our collections.
Your gift supports our wonderful volunteer training program and ensures that VanDusen volunteers, the heart of the Garden, continue to offer the superb and enriched visitor experience for which we are renowned.
Plant Collections and Garden Enhancements
VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory are not just places of great beauty; they are legacies for future generations. Our plant collections represent ecosystems that range from tropical South Africa and the Himalayas to the South America and the Mediterranean, across Canada’s Boreal forests and Great Plains to plants native to our own Pacific Northwest. The Garden Director and staff continue a process of garden-by-garden or collection-by-collection reappraisal, working together to examine each area’s short and long-term needs.
Conservation is an increasingly important element of the Garden’s mandate. Relaying this knowledge to the public, especially children, ensures that all visitors understand the importance of being environmentally responsible.
Your gift to the Garden collection will help to preserve the earth’s biodiversity – and educate and raise awareness about this vital conservation process.
Interpretive signage and plant labeling are important elements of the visitor experience. They make information about the Bloedel Conservatory’s birds and tropical collection and VanDusen Botanical Garden’s plant collection accessible in a user-friendly way, while affording a greater understanding of the importance of plants to our daily life and the interconnection between all living things.
Your gift to the Interpretation Program will help install interpretation signage at the Bloedel Conservatory and replace/update old signs and plant labeling throughout the Garden’s collections with new signs which support VanDusen’s interpretive, education and conservation mandates.
As we grow, so do our goals and dreams. Here are just a few things we are hoping to achieve, with your support:
- Development of programs that use GPS technology to motivate and inspire learning opportunities in curriculum and nature-based studies for older students (an age group which is currently under-represented in the Garden).
- Creation of new initiatives for the development of self-guided, integrated and interdisciplinary studies tailored to the needs of individual teachers.
- Continued subsidy of school programs at VanDusen so there are no barriers to learning at our amazing Garden and Conservatory.
- Envisioning and creation of the next phase of plant-based interpretive displays at the Garden and Bloedel.
Your gift will support the VBGA to realize our hopes and dreams – today and tomorrow.
Leave a Legacy
You can make a lasting gift to the VBGA that will benefit those who follow. You can arrange for a gift in several ways, the most common being a charitable gift through a bequest in your will. Other ways include naming VanDusen as beneficiary of an insurance policy, leaving securities, retirement account or other financial investments to the Garden and Conservatory.
Supporting us with a legacy or planned gift is a great way to ensure future generations will benefit from important education and conservation programs. In many cases, in addition to supporting the Garden, these gifts can result in significant tax savings.
A charitable bequest made through your will is the most common and easiest way to arrange a future gift for the VBGA.
The two most common types of bequests are:
- A specific bequest, designated a specific amount of money or property.
- A residual bequest, which is a gift of part or all of all of your remaining estate after specific provisions have been made for family and friends.
Through a charitable bequest you can:
- provide a lasting expression of your particular life
- contribute to the VBGA Endowment Fund
- establish a memorial fund in the name of a loved one
- provide future ongoing support of the VBGA
A bequest to the Garden and Conservatory can be directed in several ways:
- It can be an unrestricted donation that will be used for programs that are most in need of funding.
- Or, you may choose to specify that your bequest be held in the VBGA endowment. In this case, the capital of your bequest will be held in perpetuity and the income will be used to fund programs.
If you are considering restricting your gift to a specific program, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your ideas to assure that your wishes can be met and that your bequest provision is properly structured.
Information for donors:Legal Name: Vancouver Botanical Gardens AssociationCanadian Charitable Tax Number: 11928 1301 RR0001
By naming the VBGA as beneficiary of life insurance proceeds, you are creating a future gift to the Garden and Conservatory. Contact your life insurance agent to review the type of tax credit you will be eligible for and ensure the life insurance policy is structured as you wish.
+-Gift of Securities
A gift of publicly traded securities, such as stocks, bonds or mutual fund units is the least expensive way to make a gift to the VBGA. The combined benefit of paying no tax on the capital gain and the tax receipt you receive for the entire amount provides excellent tax benefits when making your charitable gift.
Transferring your securities to the VBGA is easy. Please contact your broker with details of the securities you wish to transfer along with our account information (please contact us for full details). Your broker will contact our agent to arrange the transfer to our account. Once received, our agent will inform us of the gift and the current market value at closing on the day it was received into our account. You will receive a charitable gift receipt for this amount.
For more information, please contact contact 604-257-8190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The information on this page can help facilitate discussions between you and your advisor. It is not intended as legal advice. We encourage you to seek advice from a qualified professional.
Throughout its 55 acres, VanDusen Botanical Garden has many beautiful, often rare trees. VanDusen’s Adopt-a-Tree program provides an opportunity for you for form a personal relationship with a ‘special’ tree in the Garden. Download our brochure>>
Trees may be “adopted” as a way to remember a loved one or celebrate a significant event. A minimum donation of $3,000 enables you, your family or group of friends to adopt a tree in the Garden for 10 years. Adoption includes selection of the tree and a commemorative plaque for the person being honoured. A tax receipt will be issued to each participant in the tree adoption.