Volunteer Spotlight: Matt D.

Each year, volunteers who log more than 200 hours of time helping at Reiman Gardens receive a free membership for the next year–it’s a lofty goal, and very few reach this distinction. Matt D., one of our regulars, has already reached almost 300 hours in 2022. (It’s not a competition, but WOW!) Matt is always open to helping out in many capacities, from pot-washing in the winter to indoor and outdoor gardening, events prep and staffing, and pitching in with Plant a Row for the Hungry. This summer, Matt has helped Jessie with the gorgeous trial gardens on the east side of the grounds. Learn more about what brings Matt back every week!

Matt D., volunteer since 2018

A mustachioed man wearing a green polo shirt and glasses smiles at the camera.

Why did you first decide to volunteer at Reiman Gardens?

[I was] interested in gardening. It’s physical, gets me out of the house in the mornings.

Why did you continue to volunteer here?

It’s challenging. I learn a lot that I apply to my home gardening. The staff is very good to work with. The other volunteers are good to work with and friendly. Rewarding and constantly challenging. I like being around students. I missed that after retiring from ISU.

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

Pot-washing, minor head house maintenance, Butterfly Wing docent, outdoor gardening teams, Plant a Row garden, Conservatory gardening, holiday lights setup and staffing.

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

golf, read, biking, home gardening, exercise, and weight training

Anything else you’d like to share?

 I am beginning to feel invested in the success and mission of the gardens.  I have to remind myself to stop and look around the gardens and enjoy them and the continuous change in the scenery.  I like to share my garden experiences with other people in this community and encourage them to visit and join the gardens.

Thank you, Matt, for sharing your volunteer story. We at Reiman are so thankful for passionate, caring, and kind volunteers who pour themselves into the preservation and appreciation of the natural world for our visitors.  If you’d like more information about volunteering, learn more here.