Sunday, June 14, 2009

Garfield Park Conservatory Volunteers!

June 2009

Hello Garfield Park Conservatory Volunteers!

Several New Volunteer Opportunities Coming Up

It’s a busy summer! We’ll be looking for volunteers for the following events. If you’re interested in helping out with any of these, let me know which ones and I’ll put you on the lists for those specific events. I don’t have volunteer times or assignments ready yet, but if you know that you want to help in some way, mark your calendar and drop me a line so I can provide you with more details when they are available.

— Summer Music Series – every Wednesday evening in July

— Jazz Under the Stars – Friday, July 17

— Meet the Bees – Saturday, July 25

— Open Streets Chicago (formerly called Sunday Parkways) – Saturday, August 1

— County Fair – Saturday, September 19

Next New Volunteer Orientation is July 8

As many of you know, we have been holding monthly volunteer orientations for new volunteers, possible volunteers, and old volunteers who just want an update of what’s going on around the Conservatory. We will continue to hold these sessions monthly on Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8, 6:00-7:30pm. Please RSVP to me if you plan to attend.

Queen Bee passes the honey…

We are lucky enough to have had the great dedication and expertise of a volunteer to lead our Beekeeping Program for many years. Over the last several years, Edie McDonald has worked year-round to keep our bees and beekeepers happy and to keep our honey flowing! Unfortunately for us, she made the decision this spring to focus on other parts of her life and pass the honey to the next lead beekeeper.

With the Volunteer Beekeeping Program flourishing and no one at the helm, the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance decided to hire a part-time staff person to lead the program into its next phases. Julio Tuma joined our beekeepers this spring as a volunteer and quickly rose to the top as someone who was very excited and knowledgeable about honeybees! He was recently hired as the new Beekeeping Program Coordinator and will be on-site 15-20 hours per week year-round. Julio comes to us with much expertise about bees and beekeeping and a great knack for talking with people of all ages about this topic. If you’re interested in getting involved in our beekeeping program, please let him know and he’ll fill you in. There are several requirements, including some specialized training, so it takes time and commitment to become an active beekeeper with the Conservatory. Volunteers and the public can reach Julio at (773)638-1766 (x24) or

Thank you to Edie for her many years of service to the Alliance …and welcome to Julio!

Adult Greening Workshop Series – Discount for Volunteers in June

This summer, the general public has the opportunity to learn about a variety of gardening and greening topics through our Adult Greening Series. The next workshop is Container Gardens for Food, Flowers & Fun. It will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 6-8pm. If you’re interested in registering for this session, contact Robin Cline at Regular cost is $5 suggested donation plus a class fee of $20, but for approved volunteers who have gone through the Park District application process and been fingerprinted (or are in the process of doing that with me) we will offer this class at half price for $10!

Attend our Online Green Gala!

You won’t even need to get dressed up or leave the comfort of your own home! As a way of cutting costs, going green, and raising funds to support programming, the Alliance is throwing a different kind of Gala this year. It’s all online! Visit to check it out and support the Conservatory. There’s an online auction, donations to a living wall, prize drawings, and more.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns or just want to say hi!


Melanie Harding

School, Teacher & Volunteer Programs Manager

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance

773.638.1766 (x16)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Little Green Thumbs (Wednesday Afternoons)

Little Green Thumbs (Wednesday Afternoons)

As usual, we’re filling up our late night with fun things for families. And now that summer is almost here (I think), we’re going to move some of the happenings outside. Each Wednesday afternoon, our staff will be in the Demonstration Garden hosting make-and-take projects and open explorations like digging, playing with sticks & rocks, and just plain getting dirty! The shift is 2:30-6:30pm on Wednesdays.