A Day in the Life of a Volunteer Gardener

Posted April 28, 2022 by Sasha, Wildlife Technician

Volunteers are an integral part of Wildlife Rescue and they are involved in every aspect of the work that we do. We deeply appreciate each and every person that generously gives their time to help give our wildlife patients a second chance at life. Join us this week as we take a sneak peek into an average day for volunteers at Wildlife Rescue!

Written by Garden Volunteer, Teresa

I joined the Wildlife Rescue Association (WRA) back in March 2021 when I saw a volunteer opportunity I couldn’t resist: to assist in implementing the Wildlife and Demonstration Garden Plan at WRA.

During my years as a landscape designer in Vancouver, I have found myself drawn more and more towards natural, ecologically sound landscape designs. The chance to assist in the creation of a wildlife garden, on such a beautiful site, was a dream.

The wildlife garden will provide shelter and food to birds, insects, and much-needed pollinators. It will also serve as a demonstration garden for visitors and a beautiful workspace for WRA volunteers and staff.

Right now, the focus of my work is to get rid of invasive species on-site and prepare the soil for the planting of native trees, shrubs, and perennials. A typical garden shift at WRA starts with a round of the site, to identify patches of Himalayan blackberries and morning glory to be uprooted, as well as maintenance tasks to complete.

Once the maintenance chores are done (mowing, weeding around enclosures, pruning), the serious job of weeding out of invasive species begins. This is physically demanding work, but at the end of the day, it is wonderfully satisfying to see the site free of weeds and ready to be planted.

On my breaks, I sit by the lake watching the birds and ducks and feel lucky to be part of this wonderful project for positive change: providing much-needed shelter and food for local and migratory wildlife.

WRA’s site is full of surprises and delights – I have found hummingbird nests, delicate trilliums hiding amongst the weeds, and seen geese waddling by.

Garden work parties, where a larger group of volunteers and staff from across the organization come together to put in a few extra dedicated hours, are another highlight! I meet generous volunteers from all over the world, keen to help, hard-working, and ready to share their own unique knowledge of nature and wildlife.

Join the team! Learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to apply >

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