Continuing a Family Tradition

two interns pose witth Elwood the Worlds Tallest Concrete gnome in winter

Hey, all you cool cats and kitten! I hope I am not the only person obsessed with Tiger King during this period of quarantine. Reiman Gardens may not have exotic animals, but they do have some pretty cool people working and volunteering. Here is a little bit on why I volunteer at Reiman Gardens: My interest in volunteering primarily came from my mother and grandmother.  My mom has had a large pumpkin patch since 1999 and has visitors from all over the USA. I grew up helping maintain the patch with many hours of hoeing weeds. She loves to have the local school kids come out for field trips. My grandmother (Nana) was a master gardener and famous for her knowledge of flowers, herbs, and all things gardening. She would grow plants that attracted butterflies and birds and loved to share flower bouquets at church and with friends. Gardening and butterflies were very important to them that I didn’t want this passion to skip a generation, so I signed up to volunteer at Reiman Gardens.

I originally signed up to be a volunteer in early 2017, but it wasn’t until this past summer of 2019 that I was able to volunteer more consistently while I stayed in Ames with a summer job. I primarily work as a docent in the Butterfly Wing on Sunday afternoons, but on occasion, you can find me helping out with other events such as the Garden Art Fair, Quilt Show, or carving pumpkins (which I’ve done a few of) for Spirits in the Gardens. The love and interest in butterflies and gardening are what brought me to Reiman Gardens, but it is the people and their joy that keep me coming back. Every time I walk into the Butterfly Wing or the Conservatory, it is like Christmas morning seeing the presents under the tree. Nathan Brockman does an excellent job curating the Butterfly Wing to make sure the favorites and unique butterflies are in flight. Taylor Woodcock somehow keeps all of us volunteers in line and reminds us of the importance of our work.

I will be graduating from Iowa State in May, and I am still unsure where my next chapter in life will take me, but I find comfort in the fact that I will always have a home at Reiman Gardens and be greeted with a smile at the door upon my return

In Cardinal & Gold, Claire S.