Volunteering at the Green Legacy

The Green Legacy is open for volunteering! We have spaces available for both groups and individuals. Currently our opportunities are weekdays between 9:00am & 3:00pm, we are glad to be growing trees with the community once again.


Become Involved

volunteer in greenhouse with styrofoam containers

Each year, over 3500 people volunteer at the Green Legacy Nurseries to help grow trees. No matter what your age or ability, you can volunteer at the Green Legacy. We have opportunities for individuals as well as groups at both our Puslinch and Damascus locations. The Bradford Whitcombe Nursery (Puslinch) is open to volunteers year-round and our Northern Nursery (Damascus) is open seasonally (April to October)

To apply as a volunteer at the Green Legacy, choose the job description that suits your preferred level of involvement from the list below. Then enter your details and availability into the appropriate request form below and return it to us. Green Legacy does not require a minimum time commitment from volunteers, we are happy to work with you and your schedule. Once we receive your completed paperwork, we will arrange an orientation day at the nursery.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Tree Nursery Volunteer - Requires criminal reference check.

Tree Care Volunteer - Requires interest in learning about the propagation and care of trees.

Tree Nursery Youth/Student Volunteer - For those 13-17 years

Seed Collector Volunteer - Seed collecting requires more advanced knowledge of tree species and generally works independently within the community. Please sign up to receive our Seed Collector Newsletter.

 Please return completed Request Forms to Adam McDowell

Volunteer Request Forms. 

Youth Request Form - ages 13-17

Adult Request Form - ages 18+

 Group Request Form

Group Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for a team building experience that gets you out of the office and into the community? Come to the Green Legacy! We offer many group volunteer experiences working in a relaxed outdoor environment. If you like to get your hands dirty, this is the place to be! Work together completing the many important tasks needed to successfully grow trees: watering, weeding, seeding and transplanting are some of the rewarding activities that your organization can be part of. It's a great way to give back to your community while having fun with your team members.

If you would like to spend the whole day at the nursery, we have outdoor lunch space available in our beautiful, covered pavilion. Enjoy the scenic view of the Green Legacy Pond while you take a break. Bring your lunch or take advantage of our on-site gas BBQ and bring something delicious to cook up for your group. Carpooling is encouraged as we have limited parking at the nurseries (15 vehicle max.).

As part of your day, your group could also choose to enjoy a staff led hike through our beautiful surrounding woodlands, exploring various forest habitats, looking at different plants and finding evidence of local wildlife. We will work with you to plan a great day that meets the needs of your organization. Please contact Adam McDowell for further details.

Get Ready to Volunteer!volunteer in greenhouse planting

Current Volunteer Activities

Spring is here and everything at the nurseries are waking up for the new season! Getting the greenhouses ready for growing, seeding hardwoods and conifers, and transplanting and potting up larger trees are just some of the important activities around the nurseries. Oh, and don't forget weeding!


 Lifting Blocks
 In the springtime, all blocks in the greenhouses and outside are lifted off the ground and placed on upside down pots. This is known as "air root pruning". When the blocks are lifted it allows for air to flow under them. This job requires a lot of lifting and bending. 
 Standing Potted Stock

Our potted stock has been dormant covered in tarps under the snow. Removing the tarps and standing up the trees in our shade area and out on the lawn is one of the first tasks of the Spring. This job is great for energetic volunteers.

Seeding new trees into blocks is essential every Spring. Hardwoods such as Oak and Walnut are done by hand, while Conifers, because of their much smaller seeds need to be planted using a vacuum seeding machine. This is a great job for a wide range of ages or abilities.  
 Moving Blocks
Moving tree blocks is like a game of chess. Moving larger seedlings outside gives them a chance to thrive in a more natural environment, while also making space for newly seeded blocks. This can be slow and heavy work and is best done with a team.
Weeding in the greenhouses begins as soon as temperatures start to warm up in the spring. It is an important ongoing task that can help to round out the day or done when the weather makes outdoor work difficult. This job requires lots of bending and lifting.
Pushing Trees
Trees are seeded into Styroblocks and grow there for approximately 1 year. Using a push stick, trees are gently pushed out of the cells they are growing in and placed into a crate temporarily until they are transplanted or packaged for planting in the spring. This is an easy task that can be done by volunteers of any age or ability.


Small trees need to be transplanted so they have room to grow. As seedlings outgrow their smaller growing cells, they are separated in re planted to larger cells for the next season. Transplanting is less physically demanding but requires attention to detail.
Before trees are given out to be planted in the community they are packaged. Using a wooden packaging device, 10 trees are wrapped tightly together in plastic wrap. Trees are then moved into an underground cooler building and stored there over the winter. This is one of the more challenging tasks to complete.

volunteer in greenhouse

Prepare for the Weather at The Green Legacy

The Green Legacy nurseries have a number of locations to work in: outdoors, in the greenhouses, or our underground cooler building. Be prepared to work both in and outdoors and according to forecasted weather conditions.

Suggested Items to bring:

  • Hat and sunscreen (seasonally)
  • Warm gloves, hat, boots (seasonally)
  • Work gloves
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch

An indoor lunch space with a full kitchen is available for volunteer use. There is also a large, covered pavilion and picnic tables on site (Bradford Whitcombe Nursery).

Volunteer Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
9:00am - 3:00pm

Please contact Adam McDowell for more information.