A Volunteer Story: The Heart to Give and the Courage to Contribute

Volunteer arranging white and pink flowers in a floral design workshop.

As part of volunteer appreciation month, the Toronto Botanical Garden is pleased to introduce Alison, one of the Weston Family Library’s newest volunteers (and member for just over a year now!). “I’ve always been a plant fan, although I’m not a very knowledgeable one. So, I figured I had a lot to learn from working at a place like this,” she says.

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Not only is Alison eager to learn from the community and immerse herself in the wonderful world of gardening, but she’s taking full advantage of TBG’s educational programs, especially the floral design classes. “The floral design courses got me more interested in what’s happening here,” she says. “The classes lit a fire in me.” (Plus, as a member, she enjoys discounts on all courses — score!)

But TBG offers more than just classes. Alison stumbled upon the Garden’s library and was blown away by the reading material. “I had no idea that this resource was here,” she says. “I wish I wasn’t as busy behind the desk because I would just start reading through all the books on the shelf. It’s a well-kept secret that deserves more attention.”

And, let’s not forget the garden itself. Alison loves nothing more than wandering the grounds, taking in the beauty of the plants and flowers. “I’ve brought so many friends here,” she says. “They always say, ‘Oh! I didn’t know that this place existed,’”.

The memories and visits to TBG become sweeter and more abundant each time. “I remember coming here with one friend and doing a tulip tour. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were shades of every colour of the rainbow,” she says.

More than just a beautiful space, the TBG inspires people from all walks of life to believe in preserving natural spaces and protecting the environment. “We’re facing so many challenges as a society. We are losing our natural spaces and our climate is changing,” she warns. “But organizations like the TBG are working hard to make a difference. I donate my time because I truly believe in the mission.”

Here at TBG, each volunteer arrives with different skill sets, but what they all have in common is the same heart to give and courage to contribute to their community.

Thank you to all the volunteers for making the Garden vibrant, peaceful and nurturing — your love for our urban green space is what makes TBG continue to grow roots and flourish in the community.