Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting the Botanical Garden accompanied by a guide? Don’t miss your chance this summer! An army of some 100 generous volunteers are on standby, ready to share their passion for the Garden and the Mosaïcultures with you.
How do you prepare to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to see giant living sculptures along a two-kilometre-plus trail?
Goal: 100 volunteer guides this summer!
First of all, there is recruitment. The Botanical Garden’s core team of volunteer guides would never be enough to meet the needs of this exceptional summer. So the Amis du Jardin botanique de Montréal, which is the organization responsible for volunteers, launches a campaign to recruit another 60 people. March 2013: Mission accomplished.
April 2013: The troops need training. Finding information about works that are still continually changing at the hands of welders and horticulturists is no easy task. It is also important to learn about the cultural stories illustrated by the works from countries such as China, Japan, Turkey and Ecuador. Luckily, the arrival of experts and Ms. Lise Cormier, president of the Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal, allows the guides to be sufficiently prepared for their tours.
June 22, 2013: The event kicks off with a buzz of excitement!
The tour guides share tips and ideas, adjust and encourage one another. Summer heat, big crowds, up to three two-hour tours per day. Quite the challenge!
In time, our team of volunteers hit their stride. Monique Poissant, the coordinator of the volunteer guide committee, describes the adventure this way: “It has been a month since we officially began welcoming visitors who would like a guided tour of the Garden and the Mosaïcultures this summer. At first, we discovered the Garden in transformation with them. We have dealt with all kinds of unexpected situations. Our feet are marching up and down the trails, our eyes are looking in every direction, our hearts are filled with wonder and the joy of sharing.—Guides and visitors are united in discovery.”
Land of Hope: An inspiring theme
L'Arbre aux oiseaux © Espace pour la vie (Claude Lafond)
This team of enthusiasts have really been inspired by the theme of the event: Land of Hope. The works illustrate the beauty and fragility of life on this planet with exceptional artistry. We are all part of the great tapestry of biodiversity. This idea makes the visit all the more moving.
Visitors from the United States, France, Spain, China and all over the world have been impressed by the quality of these magnificent works. Many people who had never visited the Garden before have pledged to return.
All that is missing is you. Come join us ASAP!
To become a volunteer guide, contact the Amis du Jardin botanique.
This article was written in cooperation with Marie-France Larochelle, from the horticultural information team.