March 2, 2011

Volunteer Opportunites Await at the Quad City Botanical Center

By Gary Koeller
Education Director
Quad City Botanical Center

We at the Botanical Center sincerely feel that our volunteers, both past and present, help us accomplish our mission of bringing people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways.

The need and opportunities for supportive, enthusiastic and dependable volunteers is constant. While we certainly have our “botanical experts” that help care for our collections and provide invaluable knowledge and experience, our varied programs and events welcome anyone with a willingness to help. In all instances training and support from our staff is provided.

Don Bardole helps care for the gardens.

We provide educational tours and programs for thousands of school children each year. Many retired teachers and others have helped us in creating and delivering fun learning activities. Additionally, adult bus tours of our Sun Garden and exterior gardens provide fun and rewarding volunteer opportunities.

Volunteers can also “get their hands dirty” by helping to plant, weed, mulch, edge, and mow in our gardens as we move into spring and summer. Supervision and support from our staff is always there, and no one is ever asked to perform any task that they are unsure of.

Paula Johnson, left, and Nancy Luckenbill, right, volunteer at the Quad City Botanical Center.

Special events at the Botanical Center are a wonderful opportunity for volunteers as well. Such events as the Chocolate Fest, The Garden Party, Flamingo Follies, Little Conductor’s Day, The Pixie Tea, and The Pumpkin Extravaganza, to name a few, have welcomed thousands of visitors and families to the Center. The volunteer work is creative, interesting, and lots of fun.

Volunteers in our gift shop/admissions area have commented that, “you get to meet so many interesting people who always seem to be in a good mood when they are here. They are with family, on their day off, involved in wedding planning, part of a bus tour, on a field trip, having a reunion, taking special photos, or coming for a special event day.”

Dianne Andrews, left, and and LeeAnn Wille, right, get ready for Spring by planting flowers.

Another positive that we see among our volunteers is the interaction among generations. Augustana, St. Ambrose, and Scott Community College student volunteer programs have helped us on special events and it is neat to see both our new and “experienced” volunteers learn from each other.

So bring a friend, or friends, or bring yourself and find out about a mutually rewarding volunteer opportunity at the Quad City Botanical Center. If interested please call us at (309) 794-0991×25 or email us at