VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Get involved as a volunteer

Become a member and/or a volunteer!

Milner Gardens & Woodland is looking for volunteers who are willing to offer a few hours of their time on a regular basis to instruct and work with others in horticulture and gardening.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and to participate in making Milner Gardens & Woodland a world-class venue.

Milner Gardens & Woodland volunteers are given an orientation, hands-on training, horticultural knowledge, invitations to volunteer-only events and courses, the satisfaction of being part of creating an exciting community-oriented project, and of course, you will have our undying gratitude.

To become a volunteer, please fill out a Volunteer Application Form and either drop it off at the garden or mail it in.

Milner Gardens & Woodland
2179 West Island Highway
Qualicum Beach, BC, V9K 1G1

Updating volunteer information

If you are a current Milner Garden & Woodland volunteer and wish to let us know of any changes in contact information, areas of interest or other details, please fill out volunteer application form and mail it to the address above or drop it off at the main office.

Volunteer Positions

Please see below for a description of the various volunteer opportunities:


Shoots with Roots Mentor

Volunteer mentors in our Shoots with Roots program accompany school groups to help engage children in a variety of science, gardening and nature play activities. Shifts are on weekday mornings during the school year from September through June, with a minimum commitment of five shifts per year.  Experience working with groups of children is preferred and a criminal record check is required.


Tour Guide (Gardens & Woodland Docent)

Lead groups through the Gardens and Woodland identifying plants, birds and animal habitat.  Share details about the Gardens' history, connection to the Milner family and relationship to Vancouver Island University and horticultural collection.

House Docent

Provide visitors to the Milner House information about the house and its history along with the social history surrounding Milner Gardens & Woodland.  Monitor the public areas of the house and items that belong within. 


Plant Sales Assistant

Assist the Nursery Grower with the organization of plant sales.  Care for and sell plants in the Nursery and provide information to visitors.

Trail & Woodland Steward

Walk the trails, paths, woodland, driveway and parking lots to ensure that they are clear, signage is clean, and all areas are presentable and safe for the public prior to opening in the morning.  Raking, sweeping, and removal of broken or fallen branches, as needed. 

Wednesday Gardener

This group meets every Wednesday and assists the Grounds Keeper with many gardening tasks around the Gardens.

Seed Saver

Bagging, collecting labelling and processing seeds for sale and for propagation of new plants in the Gardens.

Food Garden Assistant

Assist in the Food Garden with light garden tending duties including harvesting, weeding, planting, mulching and interacting with visitors.


WIC Cashier

Welcome & Interpretive Centre cashier takes admissions and/or checks membership status, promotes membership, informs the public with general information, policy along with events and activities in the Gardens.

Gift Shop Assistant

Interact with visitors, transact sales, and price merchandise and use creative talents to assist with the display of items in the Pool House Gift Shop.  Serve refreshments and snacks to visitors and handle payments.  Maintain the Gift Shop inside and out.  


Kitchen Assistant

Duties may include assisting the cook with food prep, cleanup, washing dishes and baking for the Tea Room.

Tea Room Server

Serve food and beverages to guests in the Tea Room.  Cash/credit card/cash register handling is required.

Tea Room Assistant

Duties may include preparing tea and coffee, washing bone china cups and saucers, assisting with clearing and setting tables, and seating guests in the Tea Room.


Shuttle Cart Driver

Transport visitors to and from the Welcome & Interpretive Centre and Gift Shop, Nursery and Milner House in a seven passenger golf cart. 

Parking/Traffic Attendant

Direct traffic at the entrance and the parking lot during busy days (Mother's Day, statutory holidays, etc.) and special events.

Fairy House Helper

April to mid-June, collect and organiz plant material to construct fairy houses and scenes for the summer solstice special event along with the creation of displays.

Plant Phenology Helper

Citizen scientists help collect data on native plant species at Milner Gardens & Woodland with in-person observations to record changes during the growing season.  The work of this position supports the joint Coastal Forest Plant Phenology Research and Monitoring Project.


Facilities Maintenance & Construction

Perform painting and repairs to the Main House, Gardener's Cottage, Gift Shop, Welcome & Interpretive Centre and other buildings.

Garden Maintenance & Construction

Mend fences, build benches and perform repairs and/or minor renovations to the structures on the property.


Christmas Lighter

Assist with site preparations for the annual Milner Christmas Magic event.  Work takes place between September and December each year.  Most light installation is at ground level and ladder climbing is not required.

Garden Ambassador

Staff our display booth at various shows and markets, answer questions, provide membership and volunteer information, and distribute brochures.  May also be required to administer draws, and sell seeds, plants and raffle tickets.  Assist at events by helping to organize and prepare the site and cleanup afterwards.

Wedding Support

Participate in wedding events by assisting in preparations beforehand, and cleanup afterwards.  Duties may include meeting potential clients to discuss price and policy and to show them the grounds prior to booking.

Garden Monitor

Monitor the garden during open days, interact with visitors and encourage garden etiquette.


Fund Development Committee

Assist with sourcing and writing grant applications, and raising funds to support the general operation, growth and evolution of the Gardens.

Marketing Committee

Assist in the promotion of the Gardens through various activities including planning for and participation in community events, social media marketing and distribution of promotional material.

For more information, please contact Volunteer Services at: