May 24, 2013 - 5:45am

A generous donation from the Vancouver Island Botanical Garden Society is the first step in allowing VIU’s Milner Gardens & Woodland to expand their community programming and establish an annual scholarship for VIU’s Horticultural students.

The donation of $30,000 was matched by VIU’s Foundation with $0.50 on the dollar, bringing the total amount of funds to $45,000.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities this donation opens up,” says Geoff Ball, Executive Director of Milner Gardens & Woodland. “We’ve wanted to expand our Shoots with Roots program but have been confined by our funding. This donation allows us to start building a foundation so that in the future we will be able to deliver the program to more children – both at the elementary and in time high school levels.”

An endowment is a sum of money that’s invested and the interest earned is used on an annual basis to fund programs or support scholarships, awards or bursaries. Ball plans to build on this initial endowment and secure a stable funding stream for the popular Shoots with Roots program, where every year thousands of children come to Milner and learn about the natural world and about how to prepare, tend and harvest food.

The endowment will also support scholarships for VIU’s Horticultural students who work at Milner in order to get hands-on, real-life experience in their field.

Ball says those interested in supporting the Shoots with Roots program and VIU’s students should consider that anyone who makes a donation now will have it matched by VIU’s Foundation and make an even bigger impact.

“There’s still $5,000 in the matching pot,” he says. “So any donation will also be matched $0.50 on the dollar. It's only through our generous donors that we can run program like Shoots with Roots and provide a one of a kind experience to children in our region.”

For more information please contact Ball at or 250.752.8573, Local 222.

PHOTO: Geoff Ball, Executive Director of Milner Gardens; Lynn Wilby former secretary for the CVI Botanical Garden Society, Ian Seal, Michael Girard

Tags: In the Community

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