Happiness is … the BBG Plant Sale!
Sprinkles and showers couldn’t stop the flow of smiles and flowers at the BBG Plant Sale on May 9th & 10th. Beautifully organized by the Garden team, the event was substantially manned (and woman-ed!) by many of our dedicated volunteers. From Welcome Desk to “Ask Me” horticultural advisors, from the Tally-Up crew to the Cashiers, and last but not least the Loading Dock men and women … the value of volunteers to the Garden was in full evidence everywhere you looked.
Speaking of which, our “amazing” volunteers have been highlighted in the current issue of Cuttings, the Garden’s membership magazine. Look for your copy in the mail. (Not yet a member? We urge you to become one now – your membership dues help keep the Garden strong.)
Click here for the online version. The Volunteer article begins on Page 8.
Cuttings will also be available in select locations throughout the area.
Thanks to everyone who participated at the Plant Sale. We look forward to seeing all of you throughout the 2014 season, as we begin our schedule of activities and events. Aren’t you glad that Spring weather is here at last!
Volunteers Dig In on Potting Day!
Dear Fellow BBG Volunteers,A group of BBG volunteers got down and dirty on Thursday, April 27th, aka Potting Day. This annual event, a prelude to the Plant Sale, is when hundreds of bulbs and plant specimens get sorted, separated and lovingly potted up by our volunteers’ gentle hands.On arrival in the Exhibition Hall, potters were greeted by a long table loaded with an impressive berm of potting soil. Director of Horticulture Dorthe Hviid and her team gave instructions and roamed the room, advising on the art and science of potting. (Photos attached for your enjoyment.)Our volunteers worked so industriously that they actually made Potting Day history! According to Dorthe, they “potted 700 plants for the Plant Sale and 200 plants for the Garden. That’s a record, and a great accomplishment.”Gardening hats off to our dedicated volunteers! You can admire their handiwork and purchase many hundreds of plants suited to our region at the upcoming Plant Sale, May 9th and 10th. Members (and we hope you are one) get 10% off their plant purchases and have early buying privileges on May 9th from 8:00 to 11:00 AM. Mark your calendars so you won’t miss out!Sincerely,Harriet Vines, President
BBG Volunteer Association
New Growth for the Garden!
Volunteers are such an integral part of what goes on at Berkshire Botanical Garden. It’s safe to say BBG would not be the success it is today without their generous and gracious help. For example, staging the hugely popular Harvest Festival requires the time and energy of more than 300 volunteers to help plan and produce the two-day event.
Anyone who has volunteered – as a weeder, a Gift Shop associate, a tour guide or a special events assistant – loves the involvement and keeps coming back for more. But there’s never been a formal structure to help develop and manage this essential adjunct workforce … until now.
Last year, Harriet Vines, an almost 25-year volunteer, suggested that an association organized and run by volunteers could address this problem and be very helpful to BBG staff. For example, volunteers, instead of staff, could handle schedules and assignments, especially for Special Events.
The suggestion was eagerly accepted by staff and Board, and the BBG-VA came into being. A Steering Committee was formed, comprising Harriet as President; Ellen Darst, Vice President; Beverly Igleburger, Volunteer Relations Director; and Lauretta Harris, Communications Director.
In no way will the BBG-VA affect those volunteers who have been working directly with staff members. Instead, it will enable staff to expand programs without the administrative burden of finding volunteers to help them.
A case in point: Elisabeth Cary, Director of Education, wanted to expand the guided tour program from three days a week to six. A call went out to volunteers who had indicated an interest in being a tour guide on their registration forms. At the subsequent meeting, Dallas Bush, a new volunteer, offered to manage a new electronic scheduling calendar, thus relieving BBG staff of this chore.
And so it will go. Your suggestions about how to improve the volunteer experience at BBG are more than welcome. You’re the volunteers; you know what works for you and what doesn’t. Please share your thoughts and ideas with us.
Become a BBG Volunteer
The Berkshire Botanical Garden offers a variety of volunteer opportunities to those who wish to share their passion for the landscape that surrounds us. Throughout the year, volunteers keep the Garden well tended and steady in growth within every department.
Do you like to garden? Dig, prune, water or clip or just plant ideas? Teach? Lead tours? Process paperwork? Lend your skills in a retail environment? If any of these appeal to you then take hold of an opportunity and make a difference at Berkshire Botanical Garden!
Over 300 volunteers dedicate more than 3,000 hours a year to support the Garden in all areas of its operations.
The benefits of volunteering are many:
- Meet new people, connect with other garden enthusiasts and build relationships with the public and with Garden staff members.
- Volunteers and staff work as a team during the Garden’s many special events and exhibitions
- Learn new skills in and out of the garden; exercise your body and your mind
- Share expertise and champion others in education and horticulture programs or administrative work
- Learn more about the art and science of gardening and preservation of the environment
- Gain work references
- Receive vouchers for classes and workshops for every 50 or more hours of service within a calendar year
- Recognition awards for 100 plus hours of service completed within one calendar year.
In appreciation, the Garden hosts a special late summer gathering in the evening to honor its many volunteers and recognize their generous nature!