District of Saanich


Parks

Volunteer Opportunities

Pulling Together: Drop-in

Drop-In Volunteering is a great way to try the Pulling Together Program. Drop-in volunteers do not need to apply online but must sign a liability waiver at each event. There are teams of active Pulling Together volunteers in more than 40 different parks and natural areas, so there are many opportunities to try. Volunteers work on high rocky outcrops, creek side forests, wetlands, wildflower meadows and waterways. Drop-In Volunteers work alongside and under the supervision of Lead Stewards and Saanich Staff to ensure that volunteer work is done in accordance with the restoration work plan and adheres to relevant Saanich polices and restoration Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Time Commitment

  • work parties usually run for 2 hours on various days of the week. Drop-in during a work party to help out.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • perform restoration activities in compliance with restoration work plan and Best Management Practices (BMPs), including invasive species removal, planting of native species, spreading mulch, watering, care of trees, etc.
  • follow all Saanich policies and procedures, particularly safety, and share in ensuring safety procedures are followed
  • consult Lead Steward or Staff on new approaches or ideas

Skills and Requirements

  • A love of the outdoors and supporter of parks
  • Willingness to work in various weather conditions and get dirty
  • Physical fitness and ability to work on uneven terrain
  • Ability to work well with others and at ease taking direction
  • Sign a liability waiver each time you attend an event

Training and Benefits

  • No application needed!
  • Check out our calendar of events(parks) to find an upcoming work  party to attend. Click on the name of the event to get more information on the volunteer meeting location for that event
  • On the day of the event,
    • please wear sturdy, closed toed footwear, and old clothes that can get dirty.
    • bring water to drink, work gloves, and loppers or pruners, if you have them.
  • Note: Events may be cancelled due to snow, extreme rain, high winds, or unforeseen circumstances.
  • If you would like to bring a group (four or more) to participate in our events, please contact us in advance to ensure we have enough tools.

Parks Seeking Volunteers

Events Calendar for Current Opportunities

 

Pulling Together: Restoration Assistant

Recruitment closed until spring 2024. In the meantime, you are still welcome to apply; we will make note of your interest and contact you when recruitment reopens.

Restoration Assistants are the main “hands-on” work force at work parties. Once trained, Restoration Assistants may work at any restoration project within Saanich Parks, with permission of Saanich Parks staff and the Lead Steward of the site. Restoration Volunteers work alongside and under the supervision of Lead Stewards and Saanich staff to ensure that volunteer work is done in accordance with the restoration work plan and adheres to relevant Saanich polices and restoration Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Time Commitment

A minimum of one year and preferably multiple years. Work parties usually run for 2 hours on various days of the week.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • perform restoration activities in compliance with restoration work plan and Best Management Practices (BMPs), including invasive species removal, planting of native species, spreading mulch, watering, care of trees, etc.
  • follow all Saanich policies and procedures, particularly safety, and share in ensuring safety procedures are followed
  • consult Lead Steward or staff on new approaches or ideas
  • share knowledge gained at different sites

Skills and Requirements

  • a love of the outdoors and supporter of parks
  • willingness to work in various weather conditions and get dirty
  • physical fitness and ability to work on uneven terrain
  • ability to work well with others and at ease taking direction

Training and Benefits

  • Pulling Together Volunteer Program orientation and on the job training
  • other training/workshops as required/available or requested
  • opportunity to work outdoors with others who care about local ecosystem preservation and restoration
  • being part of a larger plan to enhance biodiversity and ecosystems
  • gaining experience developing ecosystem restoration skills

Getting Involved

  • Complete an application by clicking on the blue "Fill in an Application" button, creating an account, and completing the application form.

We look forward to having you join our Parks Volunteer Team!

Pulling Together: Lead Steward

Lead Stewards play a key role in the Pulling Together Volunteer Program. This hands-on, inclusive, ecological restoration program has been in place since 1999. We have teams of active Pulling Together volunteers in more than 40 different parks and natural areas.

The Lead Steward is the project leader for a given restoration site and liaises with Saanich Parks staff on a regular basis. The Lead Steward welcomes, trains and supervises other volunteers and ensures all work is done in compliance with Saanich policies and guidelines. The Lead Steward plays a public role, acting as an ambassador for Saanich Parks at work parties, informing the public about restoration activities, park conservation and the Pulling Together Volunteer Program.

Parks Seeking Lead Stewards

  • Goward Park
  • PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park)

Time Commitment

A minimum of one year and preferably multiple years.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. General
  • work with staff to plan and schedule work parties and ensure all work has been approved by staff
  • perform restoration activities in compliance with the restoration work plan, including invasive species removal, planting of native species, spreading mulch/chips, watering, care of trees, etc.
  • welcome, train, supervise and mentor other volunteers
  • ensure all volunteers have signed a waiver and been trained in safe practices and are aware of risks before beginning work on site
  • display a sign in the work area during restoration activities, use cones or flagging tape to mark hazards to volunteers and park visitors
  • liaise with Saanich Parks staff to report debris piles for pick-up, coordinate the loan of special equipment (e.g. weed wrench)
  • engage with park visitors to educate about park conservation, ecological restoration, and the Pulling Together Volunteer Program

 

  1. Administrative:
  • work with staff to develop a restoration plan for the site
  • liaise with Saanich Parks staff to update restoration plans, discuss proposed changes to methods or new work, and for guidance on ecological and technical expertise
  • attend meetings and trainings with other Pulling Together volunteers
  • collect signed waiver forms and maintain in a secure place until submitted to staff
  • report volunteer hours

Skills and Requirements

  • well-developed leadership and organizational skills
  • good interpersonal skills – diplomatic, clear communicator, etc., willing to converse with park visitors and help educate them about park conservation
  • a love of the outdoors and supporter of parks
  • willingness to work in most weather conditions and get dirty
  • physical fitness and ability to work on uneven terrain
  • ability to take and give direction

Training and Benefits

  • Pulling Together Volunteer Program orientation and supplies
  • other training/workshops as required/available or requested
  • training and recognition events
  • ability to make a difference in your parks, work outdoors and network with others who care about parks and protecting at-risk species and ecosystems
  • opportunity to develop ecosystem restoration, leadership skills and fitness

Getting Involved

  • complete an application by clicking on the blue "Fill in an Application" button, creating an account, and completing the application form

 

We look forward to having you join our Parks Volunteer Team!

Park Ambassador

Recruitment closed until spring 2024. In the meantime, you are still welcome to apply; we will make note of your interest and contact you when recruitment reopens.

Park Ambassadors are volunteers who walk in PKOLS park on a regular basis with the purpose of greeting park visitors, offering information and answering questions about the park and helping visitors understand their role in helping to protect the park. They also provide helpful feedback to Saanich Parks by observing, recording and reporting on defined issues and by recording their activities. Park Ambassadors are expected to maintain a high level of service in parks, trails and open spaces. They foster positive relationships with park visitors through information, education and role modeling, and record and report concerns to Saanich Parks.

Commitment

  • reliable transportation to and from the park
  • able to make a minimum commitment of one season (May - September 2023) (Longer term opportunities may be available)
  • able to commit to visiting the park once per week (1-2 hours each visit)
  • support the goals of the project 
  • agree to adhere to Saanich polices, guidelines and direction 
  • access to a personal cell phone is recommended

Duties and Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities

  • visit PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park) once a week for approximately 1-2 hours at varying times from dawn to dusk, to interact with a range of park visitors
  • answer questions from visitors regarding PKOLS and other Saanich parks and trails
  • give directions and provide information about natural and cultural history
  • educate visitors about park etiquette and bylaws with the goal of voluntary compliance
  • observe, record and submit observations and interactions on a monthly basis.
  • report any defined serious matters (i.e. incidents) to Saanich Parks immediately
  • report volunteer hours to Saanich Parks 
  • attend meetings and/or training as required

Optional Responsibilities

  • collect small amounts of garbage and deposit into garbage cans (larger or hazardous items are reported to Parks) 
  • assist in training new volunteers
  • assist Saanich Parks with special events, community events or permitted activities in the park

Skills and Requirements

  • resourceful, reliable and responsible with an ability to work alone
  • willing to learn 
  • strong and diplomatic interpersonal skills with an ability to comfortably relay information to others and to diffuse conflicts
  • a minimum of 19 years of age (unless accompanied by parent or guardian) 
  • good physical and mental health
  • ability to use sound judgement
  • some natural and/or cultural history knowledge an asset 
  • ability to provide two personal references
  • willingness to:
    • follow the guidelines, decisions and direction of Saanich Parks
    • wear Park Ambassador volunteer identification while on duty
    • undertake and pass a Criminal Record Check
    • work in varied weather conditions

Training and Benefits

  • training about PKOLS, Saanich Parks and some natural and cultural history 
  • a letter of recognition verifying your volunteer hours and role 
  • training and recognition
  • opportunity to:
    • help to improve the visitor experience
    • contribute to your community  
    • share your knowledge and experience with park visitors
    •  meet like-minded people and share your love of the park  
    • maintain and build fitness
    • be part of a larger plan to protect park values

Getting Involved

  • Please Note: Our next intake of Park Ambassador Volunteers for PKOLS ( Mount Douglas Park) will be spring 2024. Please connect back with us then.
  • Please join us in the meantime as a Drop-in volunteer with our Pulling Together Program. Opportunities are found can be found on our webiste: Saanich Parks Pulling Together Volunteer Events | District of Saanich  No registration needed, just meet at the start time and location provided!
  • complete an application by clicking on the blue "Fill in an Application" button, creating an account, and completing the application form

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