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Become a Humber Arboretum Ambassador

Do you love gardens and nature? Would you like to contribute to the goals of the Humber Arboretum while learning and connecting with other students? As a student of Humber College or University of Guelph-Humber, you have the opportunity to spend a semester volunteering as a Humber Arboretum Ambassador and have your participation acknowledged on the formal CCR transcript provided by your school.

A student assembles a bird house

What does an Arb Ambassador do?

Humber Arboretum Ambassadors are asked to make a semester-long commitment to the program (Fall, Winter, or Summer). All HAAs are required to take part in a tour of the grounds and sign a pledge promising to treat the space and the people, plants, and wildlife they encounter within it with respect.

During the semester, all HAAs are also required to: 

 

LEARN

All Fall or Winter Semester HAAs must attend a minimum of two (2) free educational workshops or events hosted by the Humber Arboretum, which could include Lunch and Learns or activities run in partnership with Bird Studies Canada, Etobicoke Master Gardeners, or Toronto and Region Conservation.

(Bonus! In most cases, this will also make you eligible for a separate Level One Learners credit for your CCR).

Summer HAAs will fulfill the educational component either by attending educational workshops organized just for them by Centre for Urban Ecology staff, or by shadowing staff as they run programs for school groups or nature campers.

 

ENJOY 

And help others to enjoy the Arb, too!

All HAAs will be required to demonstrate that they have spread the word about the Arboretum throughout the semester. This could include sharing all Arboretum events on social media, having your instructor email us to confirm that you got permission to speak to your class about the Arb, arranging to set-up your own info table inside rez, or sending us photos of the friends you've brought to visit. 

 

EXPLORE

During the semester, all HAAs must complete three (3) hands-on assignments that directly support the Arb's conservation, horticultural, or educational goals. At the heart of the HAA program, these assignments will have you out and engaging with the space in ways that are of interest to you.

(Please note that fulfilling an assignment will often involve performing an activity more than once, for example helping out with the maple syrup harvest on two separate days or creating multiple social media posts around a given theme.) 

HAA assignments are grouped into three streams. When applying we ask that you indicate which stream is of the most interest you to help us achieve a balance of skills, however selected HAAs will be welcome to complete assignments from any stream.*

HAA Exploration Streams 

Community Connector

Staff sit at a table during a community event

Specializing in face-to-face information sharing and promotion, this role will suit outgoing individuals who are eager to volunteer in social settings, learn new things, and share their knowledge. 

Sample Assignments:

  • Running the Arboretum’s booth at on-campus and community events
  • Hosting an outreach table at the Arboretum’s bi-annual Plant Sales
  • Assisting with Arboretum-run community events
  • Preparing giveaways such as seed packets and informational packages

Media Maven

A student takes a cellphone photo of a workshop

Focused on creating content to engage people in print and online, these activities will suit students who are eager to volunteer their written and visual communication skills to simplify complex ideas and create enthusiasm for Arboretum events,  horticultural best practices, and environmental awareness.

Sample Assignments:

  • Writing articles for the Arboretum’s newsletter
  • Submitting themed photography for social media
  • Reviewing horticultural or nature-themed books for the Arboretum’s Facebook page
  • Creating promotional graphics and posters

Tree Hugger

A student plants a tree

These sometimes-seasonal assignments directly support the Arboretum's restoration, conservation, and educational efforts and will appeal to people who want to volunteer in an active, outdoor role.  

Sample Assignments:

  • Litter clean-ups
  • eBird / iNaturalist reporting
  • Bird nest box building and feeder maintenance
  • Educational programs and games testing
  • Invasive plant species control (Summer)
  • Maple syrup harvest support (Winter)
  • Planting and seed ball distribution (Summer & Fall)

A new;y-made bird house is stenciled with the words Welcome Home Birds

How to Get Involved

A limited number of Arb Ambassador positions will be available each semester. Application to be an HAA is open to any current student of Humber College or the University of Guelph-Humber, no matter what your program of study. Upon acceptance to an HAA position, each student will indicate which exploration assignments interest them and will work with Arboretum staff to develop a plan to complete the required activities. 

*Please note, most assignments have a maximum capacity and some may require a particular skill, such as plant or bird ID, so you might not be assigned to all of your top choices.

The HAA 2018 Summer Semester is now in session. Applications for the 2018 Fall Semester will be accepted beginning Monday August 20th and will be due at midnight on Sunday September 16th. 

To apply, please send an email telling us a little about yourself and why you are interested in becoming an Arb Ambassador. Please indicate which exploration stream interests you the most. Send your email to Jimmy Vincent, Coordinator of Education, Camps, and Community Outreach for the Humber Arboretum, at jimmy.vincent@humber.ca 

Benefits

HAAs who complete all of the requirements in a semester will be able to apply to have their experience formally recognized on their Co-Curricular Record and will be welcome to list the position on the Volunteer section of their resume. Other benefits include:

  • spending time outside and learning about the natural world 
  • meeting new people in a fun and supportive setting
  • improving professional skills in areas such as communication, leadership, critical thinking, resourcefulness, and responsibility
  • gaining specific experience relevant to future employment at the Arboretum or other similar organizations
  • acquiring a foundation in sustainable living and engaged citizenship
  • forming a deeper connection to your post-secondary community
  • supporting the Arboretum!

HAAs who are involved for multiple semesters will be able to take on more advanced roles and responsibilities, including proposing projects even more closely tailored to their interests and skill development goals. 

CCR Tutorial Video Cover

What is a Co-Curricular Record?

CCR Certified Logo

Provided to students by Humber College or the University of Guelph-Humber, the Co-Curricular Record (CCR) is a formal record of a student's skill development that has taken place outside of the classroom. This additional transcript is intended to support the student's future applications for employment or other opportunities.