Volunteer Award Recipients
Volunteer of the Year 2016
Jack first started volunteering in 2004 and is a trusted and reliable volunteer, taking on the most challenging tasks in a timely and professional manner, working well with other volunteers and staff members. Working in the conservatory, he has built water features and constructed new planting areas and also helps on projects in the headhouse and conservation bog garden. He does a variety of plant maintenance, including dividing and repotting, planting, transplanting, watering and sweeping.
Jack’s supervisor, Conservatory Manager Paul Blackmore, states “Jack takes on any task with a smile and positive attitude. His gracious, friendly manner and easy laugh have made him a favorite with visitors and staff alike. It takes a special person to make it nearly 15 years in the conservatory. He is a key part of the team, a trusted assistant, and we are quite honored to have him around. He’s my right-hand man.”
Volunteer of the Year 2015
Anita Wallace is the 2015 Volunteer of the Year at the Garden. A three-time volunteer of the month, Wallace started volunteering in 2000 as a docent after the children’s garden opened, and also regularly assists at events like Concerts, Garden Lights, and the Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour. Her true passion, however, was realized when she started volunteering with amphibians. Wallace spends her time in the Frog Lab and Amphibian Display Areas, helping to collect and grow fruit flies and crickets for frog feedings, making algae plates for tadpoles, misting display tanks, and making salads for the turtles.
Mark Mandica, Amphibian Conservation Coordinator, states that “Anita is positive and friendly, assisting with the frog feeding demos while talking with visitors about the importance of amphibian conservation. She revolutionized the way we keep our baby frogs by first suggesting we use 'tulle' (the fabric used in a ballerina's tutu) as a lid for the baby frogs to keep the tiny bugs in the tanks. This technique has been adopted by other institutions that have amphibian captive breeding programs!”
Volunteer of the Year 2014
Bob Holmes is the 2014 Volunteer of the Year at the Garden.
Holmes is always willing to assist, whether it's pulling weeds, outplanting seedlings, plotting plant locations or leading tours. He has donated more than 200 hours a year for the past three years. He was also the March 2013 Volunteer of the Month and is a Root of the Garden for top volunteer hours.
"We are pleased to have such a renaissance man, knowledgable in so many areas and helping in nearly every aspect of the voulunteer program, as our 2014 Volunteer of the Year," Garden President & CEO Mary Pat Matheson said in presenting the award at last fall's annual Volunteer Luncheon.
Volunteer of the Year 2013
Judie Taylor is the 2013 Volunteer of the Year at the Garden.
Since 1989, Taylor has volunteered in nearly every role, from docent tour guide to garden maintenance helper to Fuqua Orchid Center assistant. She has been a member of the Centennial Club, volunteering more than 100 hours annually, every year since 1997 and was named a Volunteer of the Month three times.
“For more than 20 years, Judie has shared her time and talent and incredible dedication to the Garden and its staff, and it is a great honor to present her with this award,” said Volunteer Manager, Josh Todd.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Garden presented volunteer Kathryn LaTour the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, only the seventh time awarded in Garden history.
Named Volunteer of the Year in 2008, LaTour has donated nearly 7,000 hours to the Garden since 1987. She has been a member of the Centennial Club since 1993; been named a Root of the Garden, an award for top volunteer hours, six times; and was Volunteer of the Month twice.
According to Todd, her docent tours are considered a treat by visitors because she not only educates but also entertains.