An ISU Student Perspective

volunteer passing out candy during Reiman Gardens Halloween event with a child in a costume

I first started volunteering with Reiman Gardens because I wanted to work with the plants and butterflies. I had a friend at home that had a hobby of hatching butterflies over the spring and summer and it made me curious about the entomology lab at Reiman Gardens. While I never did end up volunteering in the lab, I’ve enjoyed working with all the other people and plants at the Gardens.  I’ve been volunteering with Reiman Gardens for about one and a half years now, and enjoyed every minute of it! What I love most about Reiman Gardens is the environment we create for others to learn more about the beauty of the environment, and helps them look for it in not just in the butterflies and flowers, but the tarantulas, stick bugs, and roaches that are constantly on display. Just because they’re a little creepy crawly doesn’t make them any less important in the ecosystem, and I love that we can help people find the wonder in that. 

My favorite volunteer event has always been handing out candy during the Spirits in the Gardens event in the fall. I love seeing all the cute costumes and helping the kids pick out the perfect piece of candy. I also enjoy all the pumpkin carving leading up to the event. It’s a great fall activity that’s perfect for college students because it’s not only free, but you don’t have to figure out where that pumpkin will go in your dorm room when you get back. I also really enjoy the volunteer events that push me to learn and develop new skills, as more recently I’ve been trying to learn origami to help with a future display at Reiman Gardens. It’s been a skill I’ve wanted to learn for a while and Reiman Gardens gave me the excuse I needed to just sit down and learn.

– Mikaela G., ISU student