District of Saanich


Parks

Volunteer Opportunities

Pulling Together - Drop-In Volunteer

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

Arbutus Cove Knockan Hill 
Beckwith  Konukson
Braefoot Lohbrunner
Bruce Hutchinson Marigold
Bow/Brodick  Margaret Wright
Boulderwood   Mount Tolmie
Browning Outerbridge
Camrose Peacock Hill
Chatterton Hill  Phyllis
Cedar Hill  PKOLS (Mount Douglas)
Cuthbert Holmes Playfair 
 Colquitz River Rithet's Bog
Doris Page Sayward Hill
Emily Carr Shadywood
Feltham Wetland  South Valley
Falaise  Swan Creek 
Ferndale Forest    Vantreight
Gorge Vic Derman 
Goward Walter
Haro Woods Whitehead

 

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 - PKOLS

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 the 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

Recreation, Community Services, & Special Events

Volunteer Opportunities

55+ Social Drop-in Program Host

Social Program Hosts are reliable and welcoming additions to Saanich Recreation Centres who enable older adults to enjoy regular social connections in a public space. This role works in collaboration with the Programmer I Older Adults Services and other volunteers to facilitate older adults in using the space to play games, have conversations, and enjoy coffee/tea and light snacks.

 

Responsibilities of the Social Program Host:

  • Open the program room 
  • Prepare the space (prepare coffee/tea/snacks, set up games, put out attendance list and nametags)
  • Greet participants as they arrive, by name, and ask how they are
  • Facilitate new participants by:
    • Introducing them to ongoing participants
    • Asking them questions and getting to know them
    • Exploring the available activities together
    • Inviting them to come back next time
  • Promote a welcoming environment by:
    • Connecting with all participants (initiate conversation, offer food/beverage, play games, bring a book or photos to stimulate discussion)
    • Ensuring the space remains accessible and equitable to all participants
    • Communicate program feedback to the Programmer I 
    • Answer questions about this program and other social opportunities as you are able
    • Direct questions you can not answer to the right people (front desk staff, other staff in the room)
  • Close the program room (put away games/crafts, put refreshments back in cupboards/fridge/freezer, compost scraps, clean dishes by hand or load/turn on the dishwasher, wipe counters)
  • Interact with staff, instructors and other volunteers in a friendly, welcoming way


Application Process:  

  • Complete a Volunteer Application (Click the blue "Fill in an application" button to start)
  • Participate in a volunteer Meet and Match interview
  • Complete a Police Information Check (free of charge!) and other required paperwork (Liability Waiver, Code of Conduct, Child/Vulnerable Persons Training)
  • Attend an onsite orientation

 

Qualifications and Desired Traits:

  • 19 years old or older
  • Proficient in the English language (other language skills are an asset)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; pro-active, friendly, active listener, patient, empathetic 
  • Genuinely interested in interacting with those 55yrs+ and enhancing the welcoming feel of Saanich spaces to all cultural backgrounds, abilities, genders and ages
  • Able to work independently or with other volunteers with limited on-site supervision (staff is always available if needed)
  • Willing to learn about the District of Saanich, our Recreation Centres and other community services as well as program rooms (layout, entrances, and exits)

We welcome a diverse spectrum of cultural backgrounds, abilities, genders and ages! If you have a passion to better your community, please apply!

Schedule and Commitment:
This position requires a weekly commitment for a minimum of three monthsConsistent attendance is required, however we can accommodate appointments and vacations with advance notice. We are recruiting volunteers for the following shifts:

  • Mondays from 9:30am - 11:45am at Saanich Commonwealth Place
  • Mondays from 9:00am - 11:45am at G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre 
  • Tuesdays from 12:30pm - 2:45pm at Gordon Head Recreation Centre
  • Fridays from 12:00pm - 3:45pm at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre

 

Working Conditions:  

This program occurs indoors. Volunteers will be in close proximity with others and will need to sit, stand, and move around during the program. This role may involve working independently or with another volunteer (staff is always available if needed).

 

Questions? Contact:
Lindsay Mackas-Burns

Programmer 1: Events, Volunteers & Film
volunteer@saanich.ca

250-475-5502

SpeakWell ESL Program Facilitator

 

The SpeakWell ESL English Conversation Program supports new immigrants, refugees, and other ESL learners in sharpening their English-speaking and comprehension skills. The Facilitator leads conversations around a given topic, presented through established lesson plans and assists participants with pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary development, and listening skills.

Responsibilities: 

  • Create a friendly, safe, enjoyable atmosphere and encourage people to discuss given topics.
  • Assist individuals in conversation by providing feedback and guidance on pronunciation and vocabulary as well as directly teach pronunciation and vocabulary to small groups of participants.
  • Answer questions and support participants' learning of conversational English.

Qualifications:

  • 19+ years 
  • Friendly, outgoing, and enthusiastic.
  • Interested in helping new immigrants, refugees and other ESL learners develop speaking skills to assist them to become active members of our community.
  • Ability to assist learners with pronunciation, vocabulary development as well as some basic grammar points.
  • Able to speak English fluently.
  • Teaching English as a Second Language training and teaching experience an asset.
  • Able to speak and understand additional languages is an asset.
  • Willing to meet for an informal interview
  • Willing to complete a Police Information Check

Orientation and Training:

  • Volunteer Application (Liability Waiver, Code of Conduct, Policies for Volunteers and Contractors)
  • Child Protection/Vulnerable Persons Training
  • Site and Role Orientation

Commitment and schedule: One weekly shift on Saturday afternoons between 1:00 - 3:30pm. Program runs 1:30 - 3:00pm, with a half hour of prep and clean up on either side.  A 1-year commitment is ideal; a minimum commitment of 6 months is expected.

Working Conditions:  Indoor. Required sitting, standing, and moving around the room. Requires lifting up to 20lbs.  Multipurpose room setting.  Supervised.

Contact and communication: Program Coordinator – Derek Swallow – speakwellesl@gmail.com. Programmer II: Jason Jones, 250-475-5427, e: jason.jones@saanich.ca 

Why a Conversation program? To:

  • Increase participant’s comfort and confidence speaking English through interaction with patient, friendly facilitators and other group members within a relaxed, informal environment.
  • Provide an inclusive environment where participant increase their verbal English fluency and comprehension, and enhance their English pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar skills.
  • Provide a venue where immigrants deepen their relationship with the Saanich region by connecting with other community members, participating in community activities offered through Saanich’s Recreation centers, and hopefully meld so firmly with our community they willingly participate in community decision-making bodies such as regional boards.
  • Promote cross-cultural understanding through activities that generate cross-cultural learning.

Preschool Program Assistant

The Preschool Program Assistant enhances the delivery of our quality preschool programs that run weekly in the mornings by offering additional relationships, supervision, role-modeling and assistance.  Ideal for those who love working with very young children. Your positivity, encouraging attitude, patience, and joyful approach to discovery and play is a resource for the instructor and participants.

Note: Various themes and areas of focus depending on specific program (eg. French language-learning, cooking, arts and crafts, nature-based, etc).

 

Potential Program Opportunities:

  • Educating Children Outdoors Nature Preschool         8:45am - 12:15pm           Thurs    @ Swan Lake
  • Variety of Programs                    approx 8:45am - 11:00am       Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, OR Fri     @ Saanich Commonwealth Place

 

Duties and Responsibilities:
•    Model safe behavior
•    Use positive, encouraging language
•    Assist preschool staff with activities and games 
•    Help with set up and clean up
•    Report to the program instructor
•    Greet children and parents and make them feel comfortable
•    Help track attendance
•    Initiate play with the children
•    Maintain a fun, safe and clean classroom environment
•    Establish a fair play atmosphere
•    Must wear appropriate clothing including close-toed shoes, and be comfortable getting messy. 


Knowledge, Skill and Qualification Requirements:  
•    16 yrs+
•    Experience working with children aged 3 to 5 years in a related setting is an asset
•    Ability to speak languages other than English is an asset
•    Patient and supportive approach working with children
•    Friendly personality and one who uses their initiative
•    Proficient in the English language
•    Clear current Criminal Records Check or Police Information Check

Orientation and Training (provided):  
•    Volunteer Application (Liability Waiver, Code of Conduct, Policies for Volunteers and Contractors)
•    Child Protection/Vulnerable Persons Training
•    Supervisor Meet and Match Interview
•    Site and Role Orientation

Commitment and schedule: At least one regular weekly shift for a minimum of 3 months.  

Working Conditions:  

  • Mostly indoors but can go outdoors.  
  • Sitting, standing, moving throughout a multi-purpose space.  
  • Able to lift 40 lbs.  
  • Staff supervised.

Contact and communication: 

Gordon Head (including Swan Lake)     Kathryn Allan,  250-475-7113, kathryn.allan@saanich.ca

Saanich Commonwealth Place               Ruth Smith, 250-475-7603, ruth.smith@saanich.ca 

Shadow Swim Instructor

The Shadow Swim Instructor is responsible for observing and assisting the instruction of general recreational aquatics programs.  For those who have certification or are in progress of completing co-teach hours.

Duties and Responsibilities:  

•    Assist Swim Instructor with aquatics activities when required
•    Welcome, engage and interact with participants
•    Interact cooperatively with Instructors
•    Ensure participants are acting in accordance with facility rules
•    Ensure the facility and equipment is in safe, working condition. 
 
Knowledge, Skill and Qualification Requirements:  
•    15 years or older
•    Proficient in the English language.
•    Clear current Criminal Records Check or Police Information Check
•    Current Lifesaving Society Swim For Life Instructor
•    Excellent communication
•    Enjoy working with children and hold appropriate boundaries when interacting with them
•    Enthusiastic, well organized, willing to learn

 

Commitment and schedule: Dependent on swimming lessons schedule

Working Conditions:  Indoor pool facility.  On dryland and in pool.  Staff supervised throughout.

Contact and communication:

Gordon Head: Tyler Smith, Programmer 1, Aquatics     email: Tyler.Smith@saanich.ca

Saanich Commonwealth Place: Kris Arklie, Programmer 1, Aquatics Lessons     email: Kristine.Arklie@saanich.ca

Shadow Lifeguard

Volunteer Shadow Lifeguards gain meaningful experience supervising the pool deck, assisting with first aids, learning about equipment and deck set ups, meeting facility specific needs, working on activities to improve their skills as Lifeguards, and getting to be a part of a dynamic team. 

In Aquatics, Lifeguards have the opportunity to become employed as Lifeguards with Saanich Recreation as our Supervisors mentor and evaluate their voluntary contribution.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Commit to attending volunteer shifts
  • Attend an orientation session
  • Assist with first aids
  • Welcome, engage, and interact with patrons and staff
  • Supervise water and pool deck

Knowledge, Skills, and Qualification Requirements

  • 15 years or older
  • Proficient in the English Language
  • Clear current Criminal Records Check or Police Information Check
  • Current NL - Pool and Waterpark Option Awards
  • Current Standard First Aid and CPR-C; AMOA
  • Excellent communication
  • Enjoy working with children and hold appropriate boundaries when interacting with them
  • Enthusiastic, well organized, willing to learn

 

Commitment and Schedule:

  • One Fun Swim shift per week, 2-3 hours in length

 

Contact and Communication:

  • Saanich Commonwealth Place:
    • Connor Reiter, Program Technician
    • Connor.Reiter@saanich.ca
    • 250-475-3502

Special Events Assistant

A group of volunteers from the UVic English Language Centre smile and pose in front of the Family Arts Festival banner.

 

Throughout the year, Saanich hosts a variety of special events in the community. Whether you're preparing decorations for Autumn Lantern Fest, leading crafts at Family Arts Fest, or serving up ice cream at Strawberry Fest, you are bound to have a memorable volunteer experience at these vibrant community gatherings.

 

Apply today to be added to our interest list for 2024! You will be notified as soon as recruitment opens for each special event. 

 

Qualifications:

  • 15+ years old
  • Friendly and responsible
  • Follows direction
  • Enjoys working with all ages
  • Comfortable with crowds

Application Process:

  • Create volunteer profile online
  • Submit paperwork: Waiver, Code of Conduct, and (optional) Photo/Video Release 
  • Receive an email when recruitment opens for each event
  • Sign up for shifts


Questions? Contact:
Lindsay Mackas-Burns

Programmer 1: Events, Volunteers & Film
volunteer@saanich.ca

250-475-5502

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