In 1970 the Vancouver Foundation, the British Columbia provincial government, and the city of Vancouver signed an agreement to provide the funding to develop a public garden on part of the old Shaughnessy Golf Course. That garden, VanDusen Botanical Garden, is situated in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the North West corner of 37th Avenue and Oak Street. It is named for local lumberman and philanthropist Whitford Julian VanDusen,
The Botanical Garden opened on August 30, 1975 and remains jointly managed by the Vancouver Park Board and the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association. An administrative staff is bolstered by approximately 1200 non-gardening volunteers and six full-time unionized gardeners with seasonal interns assisting during the summer.
Vandusen's volunteers have a 45-year history in the garden and often exhibit a proprietary connection to the trees, shrubs and annuals. Trained volunteer guides interpret the plant collection and the history of the garden to visitors on foot and in motorized golf carts from April through October (see web site for actual dates, the carts have a limited season). In addition to guiding tours, volunteers collect seeds of annuals and perennials (which they clean and package for sale in the garden shop and on the Internet). Other volunteers operate the information desk, produce dried flower arrangements, staff a large and very successful plant sale each spring, write and produce self-guided tours to hand out to visitors, package manure and compost for sale to local gardeners, and work with Park Board staff to install plant identification signs in the garden.
The Garden covers 22 hectares (55 acres). In addition to displays of plants from all over the world, there is an extensive collection of native British Columbia (Northwest Coast) plants. A recently launched "re-wilding" outreach program aims to rescue and propagate native plants for reintroduction into Vancouver's regional parks.