Join the Auxiliary of Royal Botanical Gardens

Join the Auxiliary of Royal Botanical Gardens and discover the many rewarding volunteer opportunities available year-round, weekdays and weekends. The Auxiliary volunteers work as a team with RBG staff to promote the interests of RBG to deliver excellent visitor experience. Click on the various opportunities for short descriptions of how you can be involved. We will match your interests, abilities and availability with RBG’s current volunteer needs.

A current (paid-up) membership in Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is mandatory to apply for and to maintain membership in the Auxiliary and to participate in Auxiliary activities.

Office Hours:
Tues. and Thurs. 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Contact us:
905-527-1158 ext. 517 or email:

Floral Design Workshop

The Floral Design Workshop is for the volunteer who has a creative side. We are a collegial group of volunteers interested in floral design who meet every Tuesday or Thursday morning in the Auxiliary Workshop at RBG Centre to produce quality arrangements that we sell at Shop @ The Gardens. Several long-time members/judges give individual guidance and support to newcomers through short demos/classes.

Some arrangements use plant material grown in our own Auxiliary Garden; others use silk and dried botanical components. We also produce fresh designs for RBG events, weddings and other occasions.

Autumn is a busy time when we start preparing for our Christmas Show and Sale and our Evergreen Design Workshops.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Floral Design Workshop - Evergreen Design Workshops

Evergreen Design Workshops take place in early December. Experienced Auxiliary floral design instructors lead the four workshops where either a holiday door design or table decoration is made.

In late November volunteers spend two mornings cutting evergreen boughs into required lengths and then “Bag the Greens” in preparation for the workshops. Volunteers are also needed during the workshops to help with set-up, to help the participants and clean-up. It is a great volunteer opportunity for both long-time and new volunteers.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Gardening Information

Gardening Information is for the volunteer who enjoys meeting people and doing online research related to plants. It is an opportunity to learn about plants and share knowledge with others who either visit RBG Centre or contact us by email or phone.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Information Desk

Volunteers at the Information Desk greet visitors and provide tips on how to maximize their visit at RBG. We answer questions and explain, with the use of maps, the geography of the Gardens and where to walk to enjoy the “best in bloom”.

The desk is staffed 7 days a week, year round. Training is provided and a smile is required.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Interpretive Programming

Many RBG events and daily operations are designed to attract public interest and increase understanding and awareness of relevant concepts.

Auxiliary volunteers help make the visitors' experience better. We explain the displays, channel children's interest and make sure people can find their way around effectively. We receive training and get to know the staff on the front lines so that we can support them.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Library

Over the years, RBG has acquired an extensive collection of books and magazines related to all things horticultural. Library volunteers meet every Tuesday and/or Thursday morning and keep the collection in good order.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Shop @ The Gardens

Visitors love to browse in RBG’s gift shop, Shop @ The Gardens. As a volunteer you could help with sales or display of merchandise. Shop @ The Gardens is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Social Committee

The Social Committee is a group of creative and enthusiastic volunteers. Our main tasks are to plan the meals/refreshments for the Auxiliary Spring and Fall Breakfast Meetings, provide refreshments and organize the 50/50 raffles at the monthly Auxiliary Docent Meetings. It is a great opportunity to meet other volunteers.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Special Events

Throughout the year, we are a group of volunteers who are called upon to provide our skills, patience and friendly guidance to ensure that short, special events run smoothly. We help wedding guests find their way to the right ceremony, we steer parents and children towards fairies and elves during the Enchanted Weekend event and in October we carve Jack O’ Lanterns for the Great Pumpkin Trail. As Christmas approaches, we watch over the magnificent model train display and help to keep Santa’s workshop orderly.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Tour Guides

Tour Guides enjoy conducting group tours of the beautiful gardens. You do not need to be a 'plant expert' in order to be Tour Guide. We offer training in the spring consisting of a one day indoor session along with guided tours of each garden by RBG staff. New Guides are able to shadow experienced guides or do tours with experienced guides until they feel comfortable to be on their own. Hours are flexible and tours are usually one or two hours in length.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Trail Watchers

If you enjoy hiking RBG trails, passing though the Carolinian Forest, and would like to “do something” to ensure safe trails, then you should consider Trail Watching. As a Trail Watcher, you will hike your chosen trails within any of the five RBG properties (Hendrie Valley, South Shores of Cootes, North Shores of Cootes, Rock Chapel and the Berry Tract) and report any potential safety issues to RBG’s Head of Natural Lands. Trail Watchers can hike with friends or family all year, weather permitting and at their own convenience.

RBG staff leads monthly hikes to familiarize volunteers with the natural lands. Maps, a volunteer Trail Watch Program Manual and sample responses to frequently asked questions are provided. Come and join us.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Volunteer Gardeners

Volunteer Gardeners assist RBG gardeners with routine maintenance of the gardens. It is a great opportunity to learn more about plants and to work “up close and personal” with RBG’s plant collections.

Join us in Laking Garden on Tuesday mornings, in the Arboretum on Wednesday mornings, and at Hendrie Park on Thursday mornings. Some weekend involvement is being considered.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Memorial Watchers

The members of our group keep a watchful eye on the health and condition of the over 400 memorial trees and benches which are scattered throughout RBG. Each member is responsible for a specific group of memorials, and so gains familiarity with the health and well being of each tree and bench.

Monthly reports on any issues or concerns regarding the memorials are provided by the volunteers, which in turn permits RBG staff to address any problems we identify.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Speaker Coordinators

Throughout the year, RBG provides many courses and workshops to the public on diverse subjects relating to gardening,nature, biodiversity, wellness and botanical arts. Join our group of volunteers who act as individual assistants to the presenters of these courses helping with set- up, attendance, safety and materials. All with the added bonus of knowledge gained by our volunteers from the different classes with which they assist!

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.

Natural Lands

Join our group of active volunteers who work with RBG staff on many projects relating to the restoration of Cootes Paradise. Projects include the removal of invasive species from the forest areas, assisting with the Fishway and planting wild rice in the marsh. This is a new volunteer area and there will be many new activities to be announced-all of which work towards the aim of restoring the natural ecosystem of the area.

To join or receive more information regarding one of the many interest groups below, click here.