September’s Super Days Of Service In The Arboretum

Thanks to spot on planning and recruitment by our partner, Arboretum Foundation, and cooperative PNW weather, two of our biggest community service events during the year were a huge success! We celebrated United Way Day of Caring on September 15, when 130 volunteers representing 6 companies; Nordstrom, Sonos, Fred Hutch, Google, IMPINJ, Microsoft and Chase Bank, participated in 7 arboretum projects led by UW Botanic Gardens horticulture and Seattle Parks and Recreation staff. 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Kyra Kaiser

Kyra Kaiser always dreaded public speaking growing up.  So you might not expect that she would end up as one of UW Botanic Gardens’ most enthusiastic tour guides at the Washington Park Arboretum, leading groups of visitors into the secret places of that 230 acre forested gem inside the City of Seattle. Kaiser, a second year student at UW who intends to major in plant biology, leads free weekend walks at the Arboretum, a tour program with a broad focus that changes monthly according to the season and route taken. 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Carolyn Scott

At the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, we rely on volunteers–over 500 of them– to keep daily operations afloat. Volunteer Carolyn Scott works in the administrative heart of the Gardens, helping Manager of Administrative Services Carrie Cone with record-keeping, mailing, filing and data entry. Born in 1921, Carolyn came to Seattle from Virginia in her early 30s with husband David who accepted a faculty position with the (then) College of Forestry at the UW. 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Heidi Lennstrom

Heidi volunteers at the Hyde Herbarium, working with pressed plants and the plant database.  She holds a PhD in archaeology, specializing in paleoethnobotany–the study of plant remains from archaeological digs.  She spent many years at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, where she was also a science educator and creator of an ethnobotany garden and webpage.  “I love to organize things,” says Lennstrom, “so working with the seven cabinets of duplicate specimens at the Herbarium is perfect for me!” Heidi carefully identifies which of the specimens are duplicates, confirms they have been entered into the Botanic Garden website and  then determines which ones are kept and which ones need to be shared with other herbaria. 

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Student Spotlight: Emma Relei

In Emma Relei’s extensive list of “favorite” plants, one of them is the simple crocus, meaningful for her because of its prominence in a much-loved children’s tale, The Runaway Bunny;  another is Ponderosa pine, because “it smells like vanilla!” Emma’s energy and enthusiasm for all things extends in many directions, including her work with specimens at the Hyde Herbarium. There she helps sort the 23,000+ species, catalogs them on the database, mounts species for filing and makes greeting cards. 

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Annual United Way "Day of Caring" made a huge impact at the Washington Park Arboretum

Over 100 volunteers teamed up on September 19th on six projects that included spreading 218 yards of mulch, salvaging 150 sword ferns and grubbing out truckloads of invasive blackberry. Thank you to every one involved in the Day of Caring! 2014 United Way Day of Caring Debrief Sept 19, 2014 9a-1p Participating partners: Arboretum Foundation – volunteer recruitment and organizer UW Botanic Gardens – project management (5 projects), equipment and supplies Seattle Parks and Recreation (1 project), equipment and supplies   UWBG Projects Details: Pacific Connections Garden-New Zealand Forest Led by Kathleen DeMaria and Annie Bilotta 80 yards of mulch spread. 

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A Day in the Life

you are outside. The sun is shining, illuminating the new growth on the western red cedars. It’s been a great growing season and the plants at Washington Park Arboretum are thriving. The backdrop of evergreen trees is a lovely frame to all of the native and non-native plants in the collection. Now, if they would just get here! Just when you thought you couldn’t wait any longer, here comes the bus holding 60 scheduled school-aged children just bursting with energy and excitement to be out of school and outside on such a fine day as this. 

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