There are so many reasons I love my job as Interpretation and Exhibits Coordinator at the Gardens. For one, I get to learn about nature and then communicate that knowledge to volunteers and staff so they, in turn, can pass it along to our visitors. Each year, I focus on creating educational opportunities around our annual theme, adding new signs at spots of interest in the Gardens, developing our Discovery Carts, and brainstorming new tours. All of this research about the natural world informs not only my work, but also what I do when I am not at the Gardens.
At home, I am usually gardening or painting. As an artist, my art is directly linked to what I learn at the Gardens. Recently, I have completed two works that are part of a new series, Restoring the Wild, about native plants and the ecosystems they engender. After working in our butterfly house these past three years, I know that native insects need native plants. I also know that we need native insects—the foundational support for our whole ecosystem. In this time of steep insect decline, it’s important to realize that native insects have co-evolved with the plants around them—many can only eat a specific plant or family of plants, which is why growing a wide array of local species is so important. Read More