Arboretum looking for volunteers

Published 4:02 pm Friday, June 27, 2008

The staff at Crosby Arboretum is looking for as many volunteers as they can to help with a number of events, activities and regular maintenance that takes place at the site.

The Arboretum currently has about 60 volunteers on their mailing list, but only about 15 are active, said senior curator Patricia Drackett.

Volunteer coordinator Robin Veerkamp said the current active volunteers are doing an extraordinary job, but more help is always needed.

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“We are only as good as the volunteers because our staff is so small,” Drackett said.

The first volunteer meeting will take place at 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of September. No work will be involved. The meeting will only share information about the various volunteer opportunities available, Veerkamp said.

Such opportunities include office work, giving tours, conducting carpentry work, painting, repairs, construction, maintenance and directing traffic during large events. Someone who likes to greet people and read books in between visitors would be a perfect fit for the ticket booth at the Arboretum’s entrance, Drackett said.

“It’s a nice place to sit and read and direct the occasional person that walks up,” Drackett said.

There is a critical need for tour guides. Those volunteers receive a book on trees native to Mississippi and other background material to educate themselves on native plants.

“So it’s like your learning about the environment,” Drackett said.

Volunteers are eligible for the monthly newsletter and 10 percent off purchases at the gift shop, Veerkamp said. More information can be found by calling the Arboretum at 601-799-2311 or visiting their website at