Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

Volunteers in the Kaul Wildflower Gardens – 2.23.12

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

A group of more than a dozen volunteers joined John Manion in the Kaul Wilfdlower Garden this morning.

Upcoming Volunteer Training Sessions at The Gardens

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Birmingham Botanical Gardens has two terrific opportunities this month, allowing interested volunteers a chance to learn more about getting involved with The Gardens.

James Horton and Sallie Lee have agreed to facilitate volunteer “brown bag” training classes for greenhouse volunteers and plant groups that utilize the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Greenhouse

 Both classes will be held in the Lower-level Conference Room and the BBG Greenhouse respectively.

  • Greenhouse Maintenance and Plant Propagation

 James Horton, Director of Horticulture Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 22nd 12:30 pm-2:30 pm

Location: Lower-level Conference Room, BBG Greenhouse

Class Size: 30 participants maximum


  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Sallie Lee, Urban Regional Extension Agent

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 29th 12:30 pm-2:30 pm

Location: Lower-level Conference Room, BBG Greenhouse

Class Size: 30 participants maximum

For more information about how you can become a volunteer at The Gardens, we encourage you to contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or by email at

Epic Donates Mural to Adventure Classroom

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Epic Students Provide Mural for Discovery Field Trips Classroom

Students from the GATE (Gifted and Talented Enrichment) Program at Epic made this mural for the Adventure Classroom at The Gardens. The students are just a few of the many Birmingham City Schoolchildren that The Gardens provides a free, curriculum based education to all year long through its Discovery Field Trips program. Discovery Field Trips is the flagship of The Gardens educational programs, and just last fall, celebrated the 85,000th student to participate. Discovery Field Trips is one of many educational programs at The Gardens reliant on donations from the Birmingham community. With that help, The Gardens has been fortunate to educate some of Birmingham’s brightest. For a full photo gallery from Wednesday’s Birmingham News shoot, visit

Kaul Wildflower Garden – Bog Update 1.12.12

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Today, volunteers gatherd in the Kaul Wildflower Garden where John Manion has led the installation of a new bog for the past couple of months. Now that preparation is complete, planting begins!

Fresh Water Land Trust’s Wendy Jackson to Speak to Docents at The Gardens

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

VOLUNTEERS! – Docent Training on January 17

Have you thought about volunteering with The Gardens? There’s no better time than the new year to get involved! On Tuesday, January 17, in our first floor conference room, Fresh Water Land Trust Executive Director Wendy Jackson will talk about her organization’s involvement with The Gardens as part of Our One Mile Greenway Project.  Everyone interested in the project or becoming a volunteer at The Gardens is encouraged to come.

To learn more about Our One Mile, a project designed to connect Birmingham’s existing parks into a network of greenways, visit their website.

Sign-in begins at 9:30 a.m., while training will last from 9:45-11:30. If you have questions, we encourage you to call Taylor Steele at 205. 414.3962 or email him at

2011 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Monday, December 12th, 2011

(L to R: Barbara Burton, Frances Blount, Shannon Blount)

2012 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

On Thursday, December 8, Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciaton Luncheon, recognizing some of its most gracious individuals that have given time to The Gardens in the last year that has allowed prosperity. A crowd of nearly 150 gathered in the Ruth B. Strange Auditorium for a potluck luncheon. Entertainment was provided by The Crestwood Trio, featuring Melanie Rodgers, Chris Griffin and Niamh Clarke. Director of Education Henry Hughes presented Kathy Rostand with the Educator of the Year award. Special Events Coordinator Shelly McCarty presented Carol Beard with the Plantsperson of the Year award. Executive Director Fred Spicer presented the Herb Army with the Volunteer Partner of the Year award. Director of Library Services Hope Long presented Virginia McLean with the A. Brand Walton, Jr. Volunteer of the Year award, and Director of Development Olivia Alison presented Frances Blount with the Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year award. Blount served The Gardens as honorary chair for Antiques at The Gardens in 2011, raising over $390,000 to fund educational programs like Discovery Field Trips, the flagship program that has served over 85,000 students in the metro Birmingham area at no cost.

Educator of the Year: Kathy Rostand

Plantsperson of the Year: Carol Beard

Volunteer Partner of the Year: The Herb Army (L to R: Marian Van Voast, Donna Taylor, Chris Boles, Joyce Dean, Maria Kearny, Donna Musgrave, Ann Garrett, Mimi Boston, Robin George, Winyss Shepard, Suzanne Hovater)

A. Brand Walton, Jr. Volunteer of the Year: Virginia McLean

Volunteers Work at the Birmingham Zoo Quail Habitat

Friday, December 9th, 2011

On Saturday, December 3, volunteers from our Certificate in Native Plant Studies series spent time working at the quail habitat at the Birmingham Zoo. This unique volunteer opportunity is one of many only available to participants in the program. For more information on how you can enroll in the program and take advantage of volunteer opportunities like these, visit our website. While you’re there, you can register for classes online.

Voluteer Spotlight: Reid Pearlman

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Reid Pearlman is a sophomore at Vestavia Hills High School. He volunteers in the Japanese Gardens with John Floyd, Mike Rushing and Bob Wendorf. Reid is one of the many young people that choose to take advantage of unique educational opportunities at The Gardens, while helping maintain its beauty. Above, he is front and center, surrounded by the three doctors and the crew that helps maintain the Japanese Gardens.

How did you become interested in working with the Bonsai group?  Volunteering in the Japanese Gardens? I have never seen anything like the Japanese Gardens before. I found it unique and interesting.

What do you think makes a person a good volunteer? Being hardworking and willing to learn.

How or why did you become interested in cultivating Bonsai trees? Dr. Bob Wendorf introduced me to Bonsai. Since then, they have fascinated me.

Where do you see yourself volunteering with the Japanese Gardens and the Bonsai Group? Are you interested in working with any other plant group or society? I see myself trying to help make The Gardens the best that they can be.

Do you feel it is important for your generation to volunteer? Why? Yes. We want to give something back to the great country that has been so generous to us.

What are your academic and/or career goals once you graduate high school? I plan on attending college and then graduate school. I have many interests including botany, ichthyology and zoology.

What attracts you to working/ volunteering at Birmingham Botanical Gardens? The thing that I find most attractive about The Gardens is interacting with all of the knowledgeable people

Do you volunteer with any other organization? Not at this time.

What is important to you as a volunteer at The Gardens? What do you see as the result of your volunteering? As a volunteer, I have been able to learn a great deal about plants, both local and foreign. I have been privileged to be educated by some of the most knowledgeable people in the field of botany.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your experience working and volunteering at The Gardens? I am looking forward to doing it more in the future.

A New Bog for the Kaul Wildflower Garden

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Today, volunteers began digging in the Kaul Wildflower Garden under the supervision of John Manion, curator. A new bog will be created in the space within the next month or so. We’re eager to see the addition!

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Welcomes Taylor Steele

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Taylor Steele comes to us from the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College where he was the resident manager for Turkey Creek Nature Preserve for three years. Before that he was the Director of Science Education for 5 years at Cornerstone Schools of Alabama. In addition, he previously worked at McWane Science Center with the GLOBE Program as the Environmental Science Coordinator. Taylor was also a naturalist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Parks Division. He has an academic background in Environmental/ Conservation Studies from University of Alabama at Birmingham. Taylor resides in the city of Columbiana, Alabama with his wife, three dogs and a cat.

Today, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens officially welcomes Taylor Steele into our family! Taylor takes over as our Volunteer Coordinator and is eager to meet you. He can be contacted at