Volunteering Was a Natural Progression
When I moved to Ames eight years ago I had plenty to keep me busy. A new home and yard always needs some attention when you move in. Generally, the colors in the house aren’t quite right so get out the painting materials. There were boxes and boxes of everything. Most of the boxes have been emptied and the yard continues needing to be mowed.
Then it was time to decide if there were activities in the community I might find to get involved with. You usually don’t have to look very far. They seem to find you rather than the other way around. My wife and I had visited Reiman Gardens before we moved and always admired the grounds and displays without giving a lot of thought about how the upkeep was managed. I happened to be visiting the Gardens one day and was asked if I would like to help with a project and that’s all it took. I could see the work that the volunteers were doing helped the staff maintain the Gardens.
At first, I worked outside with the horticulture group and met a great group of staff members and volunteers who kept the various areas spruced up (pulling weeds). Then, I added time in the Butterfly Wing where I met more great staff members and volunteers. There was also the added benefit of meeting some very interesting guests who came through the Butterfly Wing.
It gives me a good feeling when I visit the Gardens and stroll the different areas knowing that I’ve had a small hand in helping make it a place that people want to come and see.
I’m really anxious for the new LEGO® brick sculpture displays to be put up. There are some very creative artists and a very forward looking staff. I also have been watching Sycamore Falls go up at the South end. I don’t think the pictures do it justice.
Even though I volunteer at several places in the Ames area, I’m very glad to have gotten involved as a volunteer at Reiman Gardens.
By Pete Peterson