During our first ever volunteer work day at Stoneleigh: A Natural Garden, I had the pleasure of meeting Kate Galer. Kate is a self-proclaimed amateur in horticulture, and a teacher by trade. When I met her she was chatting happily with those around her while digging holes in rocky soil for our planting project. That sentence sums up Kate's personality pretty well, happily working hard to make the world around her a better place. Kate doesn't shy away from using the resources she has to connect people. As one of the original and continuing advocates for Linwood Park, Kate didn't hesitate to volunteer the park to aid Women in Horticulture!
For months Kate and I have emailed back and forth to coordinate two events for Women in Hort at Linwood Park; a volunteer day, and our Summer Celebration!
The volunteer work day was an intimate group, a few folks from Women in Hort, some volunteers for the park, and a few students doing community service hours. Together we weeded, transplanted, dead-headed, and mulched in different parts of the garden. One special area involved all of our combined efforts in the same space. A symbolic metaphor for Linwood Park role in the community. It is both supported and used by a diverse combination of individuals and groups.
Two weeks after our work day it was time for the Summer Celebration! Kate and I arrived early to set up. Kate of course having already prepared the majority of the tasks ahead of time. We met Lynn, of Hummingbird Massage and Yoga, early at the park. Lynn assisted in setting up for the event, and provided free chair massages for attendees during the event! When "Nothing Bundt Cakes" arrived we assisted setting up their brand new event tent (simpler than it sounds). Thankfully, Carol Wagner arrived just in time to help push the tent up to its full height. Carol's extra muscle was what did the trick! Carol was excited to attend the event because she grew up across the street when Linwood Park was just a parking lot! She assures us, that it is much better as a park!
Gradually attendees arrived to the park and deposited copious amounts of desserts, fruit, wine, and beer on the shared table. We mingled over free cakes, toured the garden, and learned about the reflexology path from the creator, Gabrielle. The raffle table was my station for the night, and allowed me to interact with all of the guests (and stay close to the free cake!). Kate contacted Tired Hands Brewing and Behmerwald Nursery for raffle donations, and Julie Bare brought a generous donation from Pennsylvania Horticultural Society!
We had a great mix of attendees representing the park and professional horticulture. Their were folks from the for profit and non-profit sectors, students and teachers. This mix is what not only made the event a success, but also makes the Women in Horticulture community the special group that it is.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to this event, there are a lot of you! Thanks to the businesses that donated to make this possible: Hummingbird Massage and Yoga, Behmerwald Nursery, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Tired Hands Brewing! Thanks as well to everyone that attended the event! We are looking forward to the next time we are all together!
For more information about Linwood Park, check out their website or stop by for a visit!