Celebrate National Volunteer Week with Butterfly Pavilion!
By Julie Ann Barowski, Volunteer Program Manager at Butterfly Pavilion
Chances are if you’ve visited Butterfly Pavilion, you’ve engaged with many wonderful volunteers. Whether you’re digging for worms in the Dugout, asking questions about the thousands of butterflies in Wings of the Tropics, or feeling the texture of a horseshoe crab or sea star, your experience was undoubtedly made richer thanks to the knowledge, dedication, and inspiration of our volunteers.
Currently, more than 600 volunteers and interns generously donate their time to Butterfly Pavilion each year.
Each and every volunteer works hard to ensure our exhibits are well kept, our animals receive exceptional care and each guest walking through our doors has a meaningful experience. As our CEO Patrick Tennyson puts it “Over the years I have come to intricately depend on the amazing contribution of our volunteer team. These individuals have shaped the impact and influence of this organization for 24 years now. From our dedicated animal care and floor interpreters to garden and office support to our Board of Directors, they are an amazing attribute and asset to our business operations.”
Outside of exhibits, volunteers also play a crucial role out in the field on Butterfly Pavilion conservation projects, doing everything from restoring open space to collecting essential data on butterflies and dragonflies that inform future conservation decisions. They truly make our critical work in invertebrate research, conservation and education possible.
In celebration of National Volunteer Week on April 7th – 13th, we asked Butterfly Pavilion staff members to tell us what they appreciate most about working with our volunteers. Here are some of the highlights from our diverse departments:
“We wouldn’t bloom without our committed, enthusiastic horticulture volunteers. They put in hundreds of hours a year to plant, weed, water, and trim our conservatory and gardens. Restoration Master Volunteers are the backbone of our habitat restoration projects in the area. Their hard work and expertise make our urban open spaces a true jewel of the community!” - Amy Yarger, Horticulture Director
“Gary Clarke was a very important part of the installation of Colorado Backyard and continues to be a valuable team member for the Exhibits Department. One recent example is the above-and-beyond job of refurbishing the habitat for sunshine the turtle in Wings of the Tropics.”
-Ken Hoke, Exhibits Director
“Georgina did an exceptional job a few weeks ago, stepping up for an ESL class (English as a Second Language) and translating the majority of the class from English to Spanish!”
- Colleen Farrell, Educator
“Our volunteers’ commitment and dedication to Butterfly Pavilion enriches our guests’ experiences and those of our staff, both professionally and personally. We just wouldn’t be able to create so many memorable experiences without them!”
- Mindy Wagner, Interpretation Manager
"Rita is an amazing volunteer! She dedicates hours every week helping Guest Services, Membership, Education and Volunteers by answering phones, making calls to schools, entering membership information and recording volunteer hours. She is an absolute joy to work with and everyone loves her. She has even chosen to become president of the volunteer network that helps support our volunteers. We are so lucky to have Rita helping us out!"
- Julie Webster, Guest Experience Manager
“We are so lucky to have such talented and passionate volunteers helping us tell the Butterfly Pavilion story. In exhibits, at community fairs, in their social circles and more, volunteers educate the community on what we’re doing and why it matters. We also have Social Media Interns, like Breann, who bring outstanding creativity and energy, taking our digital communications to the next level. We couldn’t do it without you all!”
– Diane Metzger, Brand Manager
“I love our volunteers & would not be as successful or as happy without them! They are the reason why Butterfly Pavilion feels like a family. I love seeing our volunteers participating and having a great time in our programs – they are some of my biggest supporters! They really live the mission. Here is a picture of me & Norma in Mexico.”
- Marissa Copan, Community Programs Manager
Here are a few great ways for you and your family to join the National Volunteer Week celebration:
Thank a volunteer in person at Butterfly Pavilion! The simplest acts can often be the most meaningful! You can spot our volunteers throughout the facility wearing green uniforms.
Join the team and volunteer with Butterfly Pavilion. Visit our website to learn more about working alongside other fantastic volunteers as a core exhibit volunteer or by supporting a citizen science project.
Help us spread the word. Do you know a great teen looking for a summer volunteer opportunity or have a friend with a passion for gardening? If so, encourage them to check out the wide variety of opportunities at Butterfly Pavilion.