It’s Time to Give Thanks: How Our Volunteers Help Make Things Happen at the Garden

By Rachel Mueller, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Make no mistake about it, from the moment Green Bay Botanical Garden officially broke ground in 1996, our Green Bay community is something we’ve been eternally thankful for. From our visitors to our more than 3,600 members to the 800+ volunteers that give their time to the Garden in all four seasons, there’s so much we’ve been able to accomplish throughout the years.

We’re proud to have such a supportive core group of people, local businesses and organizations that help support us as part of our Garden community and family. Here’s just a snippet of some of things that our volunteers have done so far this year:

  • Local organizations like Festival Foods and Biolife sent groups throughout the summer to assist our Horticulture team in the Garden. From weeding to brush removal, they were a big help in making the Garden look its best! Even though we have a knowledgeable and hardworking outdoor Garden team, many hands still make light work. Biolife’s group of more than 60 volunteers completed two months’ worth of weeding in only five hours!
members of ASPIRO at the Garden

ASPIRO tends to the gardening patch this summer.

  • ASPIRO, a Green Bay organization that’s been creating opportunities for people with disabilities for more than 50 years, coordinated with Sarah Pingel (Horticulturist) throughout the summer to have their clients tend to our gardening patch across from the Gertrude B. Nielsen Children’s Garden. They kept it weed-free and gorgeous, and grew a stunning 980 pounds of produce! A majority of the harvest (715 pounds) was donated to Paul’s Pantry while the remaining amount was used in a variety of our educational programming for children and adults here at the Garden.
aspiro and their harvest

ASPIRO and their enormous harvest haul for Paul’s Pantry!

  • Another business that’s been an advocate of what we do here is Associated Bank, whose employees have helped in a variety of ways.
    • “Associated Bank colleagues continue to support year-round efforts at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, collectively donating over 200 hours of service in 2018,” says Jennifer Kaminski, Public Relations Senior Manager at Associated. “In addition to assisting with admissions, concessions and parking during special events, [we] lend teams of volunteers to help with general beautification of the garden.”
    • Chris Del Moral-Niles, Associated Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, also advises and advocates for the garden as a member of our Board of Directors.
    • Kaminski also emphasized that their volunteerism program works to empower employees to donate their time to the organizations they want to support and in the communities in which they live. They also provide flexible working arrangements and special recognition for those who serve to help make all of this happen and to encourage a culture of giving.
    • “The Garden staff and my fellow volunteers are the best!” says Mary Borley, an Associated Bank colleague. “No matter what I end up helping with, the staff always makes me feel very much appreciated and never fail to let me know they value my contribution. They make me feel like I am part of the family [and] it is a great place to volunteer.”
volunteers weeding PC Alex Verstoppen

Volunteers weeding with our Horticulture crew. Photo Credit: Alex Verstoppen

These are only a few of the many organizations, businesses and individuals that help us out, and that’s not all. We would also like to take a moment to give a shout to the partners and volunteers who’ve made a special kind of impact on the Garden in the past year. You’ll find our 9 award winners who’ve been named either a Partner or Volunteer of the Year and volunteers who gave the Garden more than 100 hours of their time in our latest newsletter!

By no means is this an extensive list of all who contribute to the Garden’s success. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all of our volunteers, donors, Garden members, board members or our larger Garden community. It’s because of all of you that we can continue to maintain this special place that helps connect people with plants and nature throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

From the bottom of our hearts… thank you!

Want to learn more about how you can volunteer or get involved at the Garden? Visit our Volunteer page to learn more!