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Volunteer

Volunteering at Greenwood

Volunteers are highly valued members of the Greenwood team. We depend on volunteers to help us carry out our mission by assisting in the gardens, leading tours as docents, helping with administrative duties, conducting research, and much more.

In recognition of their dedication and invaluable contributions, the Greenwood Gardens’ Green Team received the 2018 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service.

If you are interested in being part of an energetic and knowledgeable team, contact us so together, we can endeavor to put your special skills and talents to work for our mutual benefit!

Call 973-258-4026 or write to info@greenwoodgardens.org.

The Green Team

Joining the Greenwood Gardens’ Green Team is a great way to connect with nature in a beautiful historic garden. Learn from our expert horticulture staff who will offer clear instructions and guidance along the way.

Work activities include general garden maintenance, planting container displays and occasional greenhouse work. The volunteers assist staff with planting, watering, weeding, pruning, mulching and working on special projects.

We encourage you to join our monthly plant walks to learn about our garden and view the impact of your contributions!

Garden Docents

Trained Volunteer Docents help educate the public and enhance the experience of all who visit Greenwood. Tours are held seven days a week, May through November, and focus on Greenwood’s history, horticulture features, conservation, and stewardship efforts. Qualified applicants attend a day of training and work with a mentor until they feel comfortable leading tours on their own.

To learn more about Greenwood Gardens’ Docents, please read:

Greenwood Gardens Volunteer Docent Description

Volunteer Application Form

Greenwood Gardens Volunteers Honored with Governor's Award

It is our pleasure to announce that the Blisses’ outstanding volunteering efforts have led to yet another award for Greenwood!  We are pleased to have nominated the Blisses and for them to be accepted as winners of the 2019 NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Award for public service!  Congratulations to Katie and Mark!

Greenwood Gardens has benefited exponentially from the unbounded energy, enthusiasm and expertise of Katie and Mark Bliss over the past 10 years. The Blisses dedicate their winter months to volunteering at Greenwood during their off-season from the highly successful landscaping business they own in Maplewood. With only two full-time gardeners, Greenwood’s winter workforce literally doubles with the addition of the Blisses, enabling us to undertake large scale remediation projects, rid the garden of invasive plants, and take on other critical projects that we would not be able to complete without their expert assistance.

When asked why they are motivated to volunteer at Greenwood, the Blisses say, “We get a bit of a thrill every time we walk by areas where we hope we’ve made a difference.”  These include projects such as planting the entrance circle and rejuvenating boxwood. Avid horticulturists, Katie and Mark visibly delight in helping revitalize Greenwood’s historic landscape. As much as we eagerly await their email in late December asking, “When can we start?”, we think that their own joy in volunteering here is even more compelling when they also tell us, “We can’t wait to get to Greenwood.”

With the generous and enduring help of Katie and Mark, we have been able to make significant progress on large-scale projects such as rejuvenating our crabapple slope, pruning our lilac collection and removing invasive vines that proliferate on our property, all with the aim of restoring and maintaining our historic site. Over the years, the value of the Blisses’ in-kind donation of their professional horticulture assistance has saved Greenwood more than $20,000 in contracted services.

As if all of this isn’t enough, Katie also supports our seed sowing activities for which she recently donated a much-needed grow light stand. Katie and Mark also serve as enthusiastic ambassadors for Greenwood, promoting our garden throughout the community since it opened in 2013. They introduced Greenwood to a client’s son who attended Newark Academy.  This connection resulted in an ongoing partnership that mutually benefits Greenwood and Newark Academy through the school’s Senior Program that pairs students with local businesses. Thanks to the Blisses’ initiative, Greenwood sponsors four students a year who contributed a total of 232 volunteer hours in 2018 alone.

Greenwood Gardens Volunteers Win Top Award

Greenwood Gardens is very proud to announce that our Green Team volunteers were awarded the PSEG Environmental Stewardship award during the 2018 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards presentation ceremony held at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ on Saturday, June 2.

Each year the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards highlight the spirit of civic engagement among New Jersey’s 1.5 million volunteers and presents Jefferson Awards medals in 22 categories of volunteer service. Considered America’s highest honor for public service and volunteerism, the Jefferson Awards were established in 1972 as the official recognition program of the United States Senate. In New Jersey, the awards are also the official recognition program of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism, administered by a partnership that includes the NJ Office of Volunteerism, NJ Advance Media, the Community Foundation of New Jersey, and corporate sponsors, such as PNC Bank, PSEG, BD and others.

The Green Team volunteers are one of Greenwood Gardens’ greatest assets and were nominated for the Jefferson Award last spring. The nomination read in part, “Without Greenwood’s volunteers, it would be nearly impossible to maintain our gardens at a level that meets the expectations of the visiting public. Not only does The Green Team provide critical weekly garden maintenance, its members are integral to the completion of large scale projects which would be virtually unachievable without their assistance…Their service has made it possible for thousands of visitors to derive peace and inspiration by connecting with nature in this historic garden oasis.”

The Greenwood Gardens staff, Board and Advisory Board of Greenwood, extend their deepest appreciation for the Green Team’s many years of dedicated service and recognizes the unflagging efforts of founding member, Lezette G. Proud; Greenwood Founder Peter P. Blanchard III; Manager of Programs and Public Engagement Stephanie Murphy; Head of Horticulture Sonia Uyterhoeven; and Gardener Joan Mutascio, in making the promise of The Green Team a reality.

Accepting the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson award on behalf of the Green Team are, from left: Peter P. Blanchard III; Lezette G. Proud; and Stephanie Murphy.

Proclamation by Millburn Township Mayor, Cheryl H. Burstein

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