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To find out more about volunteer opportunities at The Arboretum, see below.

The Arboretum Mission Statement:

"The Arboretum, an integral part of the University of Guelph, has a mandate to promote education, research and outreach." (Arboretum Master Plan, December 2004)

The Volunteer Auxiliary Mission Statements:

To develop and maintain appropriate levels of volunteer commitment to meet Arboretum needs

To promote public interest in The Arboretum

To generate funding for The Arboretum

Who can be an Arboretum Auxiliary?

The Auxiliary is made up of people who offer to perform and carry out a service requested, agreed upon, and supervised by The Arboretum staff and/or the Auxiliary Group Leaders, without monetary payment or a tax receipt. Anyone with an interest in The Arboretum who is able to offer an occasional few hours or a regular time-commitment is welcome to join The Arboretum Auxiliary.

What is the Arboretum Auxiliary?

The Arboretum Auxiliary is a group of enthusiastic individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to assist The Arboretum in meeting its Mission Statement. To achieve this, the Auxiliary is divided into a number of activity groups, each with their own particular area of responsibility within The Arboretum, working with staff members when appropriate. Contact is maintained through an Auxiliary newsletter “Arb Aux”, The Arboretum e-newsletter, Volunteer Information Sessions and an Auxiliary email list. Individuals have been volunteering at The Arboretum for over 15 years, but the idea of an organized Auxiliary began to germinate in the fall of 1994. Through the vision and hard work of a handful of dedicated volunteers, it became a reality on January 19th, 1995 when over 70 people attended an Open House to learn more about the new organization. The Auxiliary developed rapidly and much has been accomplished, but there is more to be done. We hope that we can match your interests to our needs.

Volunteer Positions:


  • Foyer Reception Desk: Welcome visitors and provide information about The Arboretum. Answer telephones and direct calls. Assist with office support, bookings and mail-outs when needed. Deal with sales items.
  • Miscellaneous Office duties and Mailing Assistance: Occasional assistance to label and stuff packages of information: newsletters, program and course information, etc., sent to Arboretum Friends, volunteers, schools.
  • Data Entry/Filing: Enter miscellaneous information into Arboretum databases (Giftmaker, Access) i.e. evaluations to bookings, Dinner Theatre surveys etc.
  • Research & develop contact lists:  Update media contact list (for press releases i.e. newspapers etc).
  • Posting Flyers: Post flyers throughout city for events/fundraisers.
  • Update free listings (i.e. Rogers, Cogeco, Tourism Ontario etc) with dates of Dinner Theatre
  • Filing brochures:  Filling brochure racks in The Arboretum Centre as well as throughout the grounds with applicable brochures.


  • Grounds and Physical Resources: Assist staff with the maintenance of The Arboretum plant collections, grounds and gardens.
  • Gardening Group: Assist staff with Arboretum garden maintenance.  Activities include perennial plant care (dividing, transplanting, deadheading, pruning), planting, weeding and spring and fall clean-up.
  • Plant Sale Group:  Seed preparation and germination, potting up donated and stock plant material (woody and herbaceous). Also includes summer maintenance: weeding and watering, labeling and inventory for annual sale.
  • Trail clean-up:  Removing branches/debris from trails.
  • Gardening group 2 - Frances Ball Rose Collection: Assist staff with the upkeep of species, shrub, Old Garden and Special Series rose beds involving spring cleanup, pruning, weeding, and edging.
  • Seed Group: Assist staff with collecting and cleaning seeds, sowing seeds in preparation for Annual Arboretum Auxiliary Plant Sale, Arboretum collections or seed sharing programs.


  • Annual Plant Sale – Day of: Organize/plan for the annual sale, assist with sale set-up. Provide assistance on the day of the sale in September.
  • Special Events – Organizing & Planning:  Work as a member of a team on all aspects (planning through to implementation) of various events/fundraisers for The Arboretum (i.e. Children’s Theatre).
  • Fundraising: Organize, plan and put into action various activities to raise much needed funds for The Arboretum, such as: Children’s Theatre Presentations, Family Fun day or other similar programs.


  • Docents Group: Volunteers trained to have a good knowledge of The Arboretum grounds, collections, history and programs to lead organized group tours of The Arboretum, or give talks about The Arboretum to community groups.


  • Office: Keep records and organize paperwork. Also includes faxing and photocopying.
  • Publicity: Prepare promotional material for Special Events.
  • Newsletter: Collate, edit and word process a regular newsletter for the Auxiliary, 'Arb Aux'.


The Arboretum Auxiliary Volunteer application form  is available at the bottom of this page. Form can also be picked up at The Arboretum Centre or mailed to prospective volunteers.


The Liability Waiver form is available at the bottom of this page.  Form can also be picked up at The Arboretum Centre or mailed to prospective volunteers.


Individuals who wish to apply for volunteer positions with the Arboretum must complete an application form. Volunteers will be selected at the sole discretion of the Arboretum, according to suitability and need. Volunteers working with vulnerable groups such as children or the elderly may be required to obtain a satisfactory police record check including a Vulnerable Sector Query (“PRC”). PRCs must be updated every 2 - 3 years. Additional information can be found in The Arboretum’s Policy for Volunteer Screening 
All new Arboretum Auxiliary Members must participate in an introductory/orientation tour of The Arboretum (scheduled as required).
All Auxiliary Members must sign a liability waiver on an annual basis.
Training will be provided for different activities as required.
To comply with University policies Auxiliary members are not allowed to use power tools nor allowed to operate power equipment.

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