Volunteer Spotlight: Alexander L.

As a former student from Iowa State, a person who has enjoyed and been truly blessed by opportunities to volunteer from a young age, and as a volunteer manager for a good chunk of my career, it brings me a lot of joy when I see our Iowa State University students getting involved at Reiman Gardens. Recently, one of our horticulture staff, Jessie, brought to my attention the great work being done by an ISU student who has been volunteering for two seasons when classes are in session. Alex is a Software Engineering student who got involved at Reiman about a year ago, and we’d love for you to know more about his journey to Reiman Gardens!

Alexander L., volunteer since 2021a college student with a mustache and beard smiles down with autumn leaves behind them

Why did you first decide to volunteer at Reiman Gardens?

I started volunteering in Reiman Gardens in Fall 2021 when I had to search for a place to volunteer. That’s when I found Reiman Gardens, which caught my attention because of the Butterfly Wing and being able to volunteer for that. Unfortunately, my classes didn’t allow me to train for that position, yet the other aspect that caught my attention was gardening. Since my home in Puerto Rico is more rural than urban, I’ve had the opportunity to work with different plants and gardening tools, and collect from bananas to avocados, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, oranges, lemons and even coffee beans. Therefore, I chose gardening because it would remind me of home. 

Why did you continue to volunteer here?

After the first activity in the Trial Garden, I’ve continued gardening because it is relaxing, entertaining, and I get to work with crops that I haven’t worked with before, like jalapeños, pepper, and squash.

What types of volunteering did you try, and what were your favorite types of volunteering opportunities?

 I also have volunteered for arts and crafts, and pot cleaning during winter, which was also very entertaining.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t at Reiman Gardens?

As for when I’m not in Reiman Gardens, I like to play video games, draw, read, work on a story, go to the gym, hang out with friends, and sometimes watch anime or a movie.

Volunteers are Reiman Gardens represent all walks of life, from middle school students helping with Plant a Row to long retired members who can’t stay away. As an auxillary of Iowa State University, we are so appreciative of the students who spend time here and help develop our spaces into welcoming, beautiful, and educational areas for our entire community.  If you’d like more information about volunteering, learn more here.