Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteer at the VHS:

The VHS needs volunteers in the following areas:
– Programs: room set-up, speaker/workshop selection, special events (contact programs@vichortsociety.org)
– Community Outreach: setting up an info table at community events (contact outreach@vichortsociety.org)
– Centenary Committee: helping to plan our celebration (contact centenary@vichortsociety.org)
– Mentoring: setting up 1 on 1 liaisons for new gardeners (contact mentorship@vichortsociety.org)
– Open Gardens: promoting and facilitating our popular garden visits (contact opengardens@vichortsociety.org)
– Website/newsletter: reporting, columnists, proofreaders (contact info@vichortsociety.org or website@vichortsociety.org)

Volunteering in Local Public Gardens:

Most public gardens have a strong core of volunteers and a rewarding social scene in addition to an opportunity to make a difference. Learn from experienced horticulturalists and reap the benefits of fresh air and exercise. Most volunteer gardening is seasonal with regularly scheduled times, but some areas require occasional help for special projects (e.g., invasive species removal). Most municipalities have sporadic invasive plant removal programs for the public park nearest you. No matter your skill level, availability, or physical prowess you would be welcomed at a local public garden. Please get in touch with the garden directly.

Abkhazi Garden
This garden is a small gem at 1964 Fairfield Road. Volunteer gardeners, gate greeters and tour guides needed. Detailed plant knowledge is not required for greeters or tour guides. For volunteer information contact the Friends of Abkhazi Garden.

Dominion Brook Park
A 104 year old, 11 acre botanical park being lovingly restored at 8801 East Saanich Road (former Dominion Experimental Farm). For volunteer information send an email to contactus@dominionbrookpark.ca.

Government House Gardens
The 32-acre Government House estate at 1401 Rockland Avenue is a wonder of reclamation and one of our best kept secrets for a marvellous stroll, picnic or tea date. The Friends of Government House Society and 250 volunteers maintain 14 acres of cultivated garden, while many others volunteer in the tearoom and costume museum. Volunteers are needed for gardening , the tearoom, and various other activities. Contact The Friends of Government House Gardens Society for more information.

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP)
The HCP at 505 Quayle Road in Saanich (formerly Glendale Gardens) is a public teaching garden, a wetland conservation area, and a horticulture school (Pacific Horticulture College). There are many places to volunteer: in the gardens themselves, in the shop and office, and at events. The VHS supports two of the many gorgeous gardens here: the Doris Page Winter Garden and the Hardy Plant perennial borders. See the HCP Volunteer page for more information.

Lifecycles is a non-profit organization that cultivates community connections through growing and sharing healthy food. There are many opportunities for volunteering with these keen, committed folks: The ‘Welland Legacy Orchard’ (a heritage orchard in View Royal), the ‘Fruit Tree Project’ (picking, sharing and preserving surplus fruit of local gardens), ‘Growing Schools’ (teaching school kids how to garden), a ‘Seed Library’, and the ‘Community Food Program’ (learning, sharing and teaching how to preserve food). See their volunteer page for more information.

Point Ellice House
A heritage garden with a quaint tearoom at 2616 Pleasant Street near the Bay Street bridge.

Saanich Municipality
To help with invasive species removal in Saanich, see this webpage.

St. Ann’s Academy
A heritage garden on a beautiful site at 835 Humboldt Street. For volunteer opportunities visit this webpage.

Swan Lake Nature Centre
A refuge of wilderness in the city, Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary at 3873 Swan Lake Road requires volunteers for its native plant garden, ambassador program, and nature centre. See this webpage for more details.

Uplands Park
Uplands Park includes Cattle Point and a section of Beach Drive in Oak Bay. It is a treasured 76 acre park with wonderful views, seaside Garry Oak sand lovely spring wildflower display. Contact The Friends of Upland Park to participate in the invasive species pull.