Spotlight on Master Gardeners at CNC

Celebrating National Volunteer Week

As we reach National Volunteer Week 2022, we wanted to take the time to thank all of our dedicated volunteers who help keep CNC afloat. Our volunteers make it possible for us to have wonderful exhibits, care for our animals, give back to the community, and provide camp support, programs, and learning opportunities for all ages. Throughout the week, we will be recognizing different volunteer groups at CNC.

The first volunteer group we wanted to recognize is our Master Gardeners, who are an amazing team led by Cheryle Kerr and Mike Sumpter.

The opportunity for social interactions, to meet and make new friends with an element of surprise and delight as familiar plants come back up in springtime as well as the ones we forgot we planted. This is the driving force that brings a team of Master Gardeners to CNC weekly to maintain the Butterfly Gardens.

They say the constant flow of opportunities to learn more about “all things nature” as they work together at CNC can’t be beaten and they’ve been busy here since 2002! One member of this energetic group was the first-ever recruit to volunteer with Horticulture at CNC back 26 years ago – Go Sally Griffith!

There’s always something to work on and someone to work with in the Butterfly Garden. The nature center is thankful for their help with the hardscape too. You can also find the Master Gardener team at our Spring and Fall native plant sales too after working tirelessly in the days prior to set us all up for success.

Collectively this group is fulfilling a mission statement that includes continuing education and they’re simultaneously satisfying personal ambition as they go beyond garden maintenance. “This is more than gardening,” says one volunteer and the others agree while pulling weeds. Everyone agrees that seeing how the native Georgia plants we are growing fit in with the bugs and birds around us is a highlight. Creating a beautiful garden to inspire and delight CNC visitors is a side benefit!

If you are interested in becoming a CNC volunteer, please visit our website and complete a volunteer application.