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.