Volunteering with The Riverwood Conservancy

Volunteering with The Riverwood Conservancy can take many forms – gardening, wildlife monitoring, education, forestry, marketing, event planning, committee participation – but they all support one purpose: to create a community that lives in harmony with nature.

No matter how you get involved, you’ll be making a difference for our shared natural world. Gain new skills, put your existing ones to use, and create connections with caring people like you.

2021 Summer Volunteer Program

We're now processing volunteer applications for our Summer Volunteer Program on the basis that by the start of this program in July 2021, local public health guidelines will permit in-person volunteer activities. The Summer Volunteer Program and orientation sessions are subject to change due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

Our Summer Volunteer Program is open to anyone looking to have fun outdoors, be part of a team, and meet new people. But the program is particularly helpful for Ontario high school students looking to complete their mandatory community service hours.

Volunteers in our Summer Program make a positive impact on the local environment by supporting our conservation and horticulture programs. You can take part in forest and wildlife monitoring, natural areas restoration, invasive species removal, gardening, and caring for fish and turtles.

Our Summer Volunteer Program runs through July and August. Volunteer shifts take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

To apply for our summer program download a Summer Volunteer Program Intake Form, and email your signed and completed form to volunteertrc@theriverwoodconservancy.org with the subject line, “Summer Volunteer Program”.

Volunteering with our Education Programs and Events

Volunteers support The Riverwood Conservancy’s environmental education programs both inside our classrooms, and outdoors in our natural spaces.

You can help our Education Naturally and LEADS teachers deliver their programs to elementary or secondary students. Our Education Naturally and LEADS programs need volunteers throughout the school year, from September to June. Our Enabling Garden also needs assistants to provide nature-based programs to youth and adults with special needs. Assistants help with outdoor programming from March to October, and indoor programming from November to March.

Our public education programming, Discovery@Riverwood, is always in need of volunteer support to ensure the smooth delivery of events – from set-up to registration to locking up buildings. Discovery@Riverwood events take place year-round, usually in the evenings and on weekends. Events may be indoors (presentations, workshops) or outdoors (hikes, astronomy nights).

* Note that volunteers for our Education Programs who will be working with children must submit a vulnerable sector police check.

Volunteering with our Gardening Programs

If you have a green thumb, or want to develop one, our volunteer gardeners are always on the lookout for new people to join in on our horticultural activities. More experienced gardeners can help guide the design and maintenance of our various gardens, and lead public tours of the gardens. We also need volunteers to assist in the management and maintenance of the pond in front of Chappell House.

Volunteering with our Conservation Programs

Volunteers help us maintain a healthy ecosystem around Riverwood by assisting in our conservation work, which includes tree planting, invasive species removal, and trail maintenance. Volunteers can support the growth of local plants in our Native Plant Propagation Program (NP3); help restore habitat for wildlife through our Invasive Species Task Force; monitor wildflowers and assess growth rates; identify ideal seed collection dates; and keep our birdfeeders filled from October through April to satisfy our feathered friends.

Volunteering in Marketing and Communications

We often have opportunities to set up booths at local events to raise awareness of our natural space and our environmental programs. These booths require volunteers who can engage with the public and speak knowledgeably about The Riverwood Conservancy. Occasionally we also have the chance to give presentations about TRC, and volunteers can be called on to deliver those presentations which typically involve slide decks.

Volunteering in Organizational Roles

Our day-to-day operations, as well as our signature events, require volunteers who give back to their community with their energy and skill. If you have organizational and planning skills, you could volunteer with one of our committees (Education, Gardens, Special Events, Marketing, Conservation, Volunteer). If you want to tap into your community connections, you can volunteer with our Fund Development team to identify prospective funding sources. And if you’re a wiz with spreadsheets and documents, volunteer in our office to help with filing, data entry, and other administrative needs.

Group Volunteering

Groups are welcome to volunteer with us to support the upkeep of Riverwood’s parkland through tree planting, invasive species removal, and trail maintenance. Group volunteering conservation activities are safe, fun, and meaningful for corporate, community, and school groups, and are an excellent team-building exercise that creates strong connections. If you’d like to bring a group to Riverwood to help with our conservation efforts, please email our Conservation Specialist, Derek Stone.

Volunteer Resources

We’ve created the following documents to help our volunteers better understand their responsibilities and their roles with The Riverwood Conservancy, and to promote a safe and healthy environment for staff, volunteers, and visitors.

Volunteer Handbook

Volunteer Policies

Guidelines for Accessible Customer Service

Health and Safety Policy

Harassment in the Workplace Policy

Violence in the Workplace Policy

Personal Protective Equipment List