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TBG is a volunteer-based organization that relies upon volunteers to help run our many programs and events and to meet our goal of delivering horticultural information and services. We highly value our volunteers and could not run our many quality programs and events without them.  Our volunteers take a great deal of pride in their many contributions to our organization. They strongly support our goals and are members of the community that we serve.

All of our volunteer roles involve representing TBG to members of the public, and are for individuals who like meeting people and who have good communication skills. You also need to be comfortable with email and using online scheduling systems. Roles often involve working with other volunteers, and many rely on specialist skills/experience and/or need a commitment of at least 6 months. Training is provided, tailored to the role. Some volunteers assist in many roles and there is a wide variety of positions to help, something for everyone! Please read on for more information.

 

CURRENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

 

Garden Ambassadors – weekend availability required

Tour Guides – weekend availability particularly helpful. Full training is provided to lead tours at TBG and/or the Toronto Music Garden (spring, summer, fall) and/or Allan Gardens (throughout the winter months).

Reception – float team (weekend availability particularly helpful)

TBG shop – float team

Note float team members are fully trained in the role and then provide coverage when regular team members are away, likely 1-2 shifts per month.

For more information please  contact Sue Hills, Head of Volunteer Services, tourguides@torontobotanicalgarden.ca

 

 

VOLUNTEER ROLES WITH TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN

Many of our volunteer roles are unique, the result of finding a volunteer with the particular skills and background to meet a specific need. If you don’t see the role you want listed here, it’s still worth giving us a call! Our main volunteer roles are listed below; all our roles are accompanied by the appropriate training.

Green Thumb

Seasonal Hands-On Gardening – now fully allocated for 2016, taking applications for wait list for 2017
Volunteering in our beautiful gardens: Volunteers assist the head gardener in the care and maintenance of our beautiful gardens. This is a very physically demanding role requiring good physical fitness, including the ability to bend, lift, and kneel, the stamina to undertake physical work for a 4 hour shift, and the hardiness to function outdoors in all weather conditions! Volunteers are asked to commit to a regular weekly four hour shift (8.00am to 12.00pm Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) for the gardening season (April to September, recognizing that vacations/other commitments may require flexing this schedule from time to time). Training and supervision provided.

An orientation session is held last Wednesday in March for all volunteers interested in this role. This is mandatory to attend as it covers practical details of how the role works, together with important safety information. We hope the gardening team is then in place for the gardening season. If there is a need to “top up” members by mid-summer an additional orientation session will be scheduled. Watch for news about this on this website.

We are now accepting sign up for orientation training on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.).

Passion For Education

Children’s Education
Our Children’s programs are among our most physically demanding programs: good physical fitness, including the ability to bend, lift and walk up steep slopes is necessary. Volunteers require the ability to relate to children of all ages, as well as having patience, creativity, excellent communications skills and a passion for nature/horticulture. The programs take place both indoors and outdoors throughout the year. Programs run from Mondays to Fridays; many special events take place on the weekend.

Adult Education
Adult Education Course Ambassador: Course Ambassadors take on the role of greeting students, handling last minute arrivals, some handling of course fees if needed, taking attendance and assisting the instructors where appropriate. This role is typically evenings and weekends and most classes are free for the course assistant in attendance.

Tour Guides
TBG Tour Guides lead garden tours of the TBG gardens and Edwards Gardens, as well as the Toronto Music Garden and Allan Gardens.  Excellent communication skills is a requirement for this role together with a love of meeting (and educating) people. This role entails on going learning (keeping up to date with what’s in bloom and other garden news of interest) as well as a degree of mental agility, adapting and tailoring the wealth of information in the tour script to the needs and interest of the group you are leading. There are opportunities to work with groups of seniors as well as visiting school groups with curriculum linked tours on offer for the latter.  Basic gardening knowledge would be an asset but not essential. Thorough training and support is provided to get you started in this rewarding role. If you are fluent in another language, we’d welcome your ability to translate our tours for visiting groups.

Enjoy Helping People One-On-One

Library
This team run the library services such as borrowing, cataloguing, indexing, data entry, advising visitors, handling book donations and library displays. Some knowledge of library classification systems would be useful but not essential. This role would be enjoyed by someone who has an ability to work well in a team, handle large quantities of data and has good organizational and administrative skills, is comfortable working with computer systems, has a desire to learn and keep up with technological skills as well as good communication skills and the ability to interact with borrowers in a courteous, professional manner.

Reception
The reception role is one with a high level of interaction with visitors to TBG. A volunteer receptionist deals with the public in person, on line and on the phone, registers people for TBG courses and signs up new members.

It is an enjoyable role with interest and variety. It would suit those with good customer service skills including excellent verbal and written communication skill in English, an excellent telephone manner, flexible and adaptable, able to juggle numerous tasks while maintaining tact and patience. The ability to be comfortable with using a multi line telephone system, email and TBG’s on line systems and processes (training will be provided) is also a requirement. Shifts are 3 hours in duration and volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 6 months.

If you have an outgoing personality and would like a people oriented role which also keeps your computer skills up to date then this is the role for you!

Garden Shop
The Garden shop role has lots of variety as volunteers in the shop assist customers, handle sales transactions and put together and maintain displays of products.

This role also has the opportunity to be creative in putting together visual displays. If you want to use your expertise in visual merchandizing we would love to hear from you. Previous retail experience and comfort handling cash systems is an asset but not essential as training with an experienced volunteer will be provided.

Skills required:

  • Excellent communication skills (first class English language ability – comprehension and verbal)
  • Computer literacy
  • Patience
  • An eye for accuracy
  • Volunteers need to enjoy an active mobile role (this is an on your feet role including trips up and down stairs)

Shifts are 3 hours in duration and volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 6 months.

Prefer Flexibility and/or Volunteering on Weekends

Special Events

Can you spare 3-4 hours to help? TBG has lots of worthwhile and fun volunteer opportunities available. In early January we typically start to add to our number of volunteers who would like to be involved with our special events. Pre event training is provided for all our main special events. Special events also includes helping out at lectures (generally held weeknight evenings), and several fun roles on Thursdays helping our Farmers Market (see below) and Gardens of Song events. Most roles are representing TBG, helping with setting up pre event or taking down post event and taking registrations.  All have a high degree of interaction with members of the public and most are out of doors activities.

Our main big special events are:

 

Garden Ambassadors (seasonal role)
This is a roving, on your feet, outdoors in our gardens role. As a TBG Garden Ambassador you will be out in our gardens on hand to greet visitors warmly, offer assistance if needed, answer any immediate questions they may have, direct visitors to areas in the garden/building that might be of most interest to them, promote what is in bloom (and where to find it), provide more information /brochures if they express interest in some TBG program/activity.

There is also the opportunity to host fun educational/promotional activities on behalf of TBG. Examples would be hosting a honey tasting station, or a station with some specific plants/produce/products from the garden and/or offering a 30  minute garden highlights tour. Full training on all the information you need will be provided and you can then enjoy sharing your knowledge with others.

Skills required: an outgoing personality, good communication skills (listening as well as speaking) knowledge of and enthusiasm for TBG, a winning smile, comfort with an active on your feet role for a 3 hour shift, able to connect with people with ease and be responsive without being overwhelming.

 

Farmers Market (Thursdays)
The farmers who visit for the regular Thursday afternoon farmers markets (2 to 7 p.m. year-round) are a lovely group of people. They need help setting up and packing up for each market, info table roles are often available as well, some roles as short as an hour or two, but come and stay for the afternoon!  Your help will be much appreciated.

Occasional help is also needed with the following:

Administrative
We occasionally have positions available for volunteers with office skills.  These usually require good competency in computer programs and system (e.g Microsoft Excel, Raisers Edge). If opportunities arise of this nature they will be featured on this website and in our ENews.

Photographers/Videographers
Professional quality images are needed of both the gardens and our events for TBG’s publications and our website. Must have own equipment and editing software. Photo credits can be provided.

In addition to helping TBG the benefits of volunteering for us include special volunteer rates for applicable TBG programs, special volunteer discount at the TBG Garden Shop as well as volunteering in beautiful surroundings!

CORPORATE TEAM VOLUNTEERING: now fully allocated for 2016, welcoming requests for 2017
The Toronto Botanical Garden welcomes groups from many organizations who volunteer as a team in our beautiful gardens. The teams have a great time working together, pick up some gardening knowledge (and knowledge about the TBG) along the way, and the TBG has some wonderful and enthusiastic additional help in our gardens — a win win for all!  A typical team volunteering experience with TBG includes hands on gardening, learning about many aspects of organic gardening practices and being active outdoors as a team. Depending on the season a team’s activity could be planting, garden maintenance, feeding the garden and/or growing plants. Instruction is provided from the Head Gardener and/or other experienced garden volunteers to ensure a safe, professional and enjoyable team building garden experience. Tours and lunches can also be arranged.

Teams of up to 20 can be accommodated. Months for this activity are Spring (mid-April to mid May) and Fall (mid-September, October and early November), days of week Tuesdays to Thursdays preferred.

If you know of an organization that supports team volunteering, or if your organization would like to participate, please connect with Sue Hills, email tourguides@torontobotanicalgarden.ca

INTERESTED IN JOINING THE TEAM?
If you are interested in volunteering with the Toronto Botanical Garden the next step is to complete and submit the volunteer application form on this website (or submit your resume). You will be invited to an interview to discuss volunteering in more detail and assess best fit. New volunteers will need to attend a minimum of 3 training sessions (3 hours each). Regular shifts are 3 hours in duration and volunteers are asked to commit to a volunteering for a minimum of 6 months.

DOWNLOAD & FILL OUT OUR FORM: Volunteer Application Form

DOWNLOAD THE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK: Volunteer Handbook (updated Dec 2014)

QUESTIONS? Please call our Volunteer Office at 416-397-4145 or tourguides@torontobotanicalgarden.ca

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