by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Dominion Power volunteers Caralos Dickerson (left), and Kimberly Ohrum (right), helped Horticulturist George Cowart plant a prunus tree, one of the test trees donated by the National Arboretum. Volunteers worked this week with staff to finish the planting around the Cherry Tree Walk.
One of the cool things about having corporate volunteer groups come to the Garden to work is that I’m always learning from them. This morning, two corporate groups from Dominion Virginia Power and Capital One, worked alongside Garden staff and volunteers to complete the planting along the Garden’s new Cherry Tree Walk. I stopped to chat with Dominion volunteers Caralos Dickerson, and Kimberly Ohrum, as they took a break from their work. Dickerson’s typical day is spent working as a lineman’s assistant, and Ohrum typically works as an administrative assistant helping to dispatch workers like Dickerson to repair projects. Dickerson explained that they started their workday here at the Garden, the same way they start everyday — with a safety briefing. They call it a job analysis at Dominion, but basically, Dickerson explained, the staff talks about any hazards they might encounter, or safety precautions they will want to take. Dickerson, I could tell, was great at this part of his job. He rattled off, trip hazards, insects, snakes, using the tools properly, and even stretching, as pre-job precautions they might want to consider.
Dominion Power has been instrumental in helping us educate visitors about what they can do in their own yards to help protect our waterways. Replacing turf with ornamental grasses and trees is a great start.
It’s also fitting that it was Dominion volunteers work working to plant this area. As you can see in the photo above, Dominion funded several signs that help us educate our visitors about what they can do in their own yard to help protect our waterways.
We removed alot of brush and weeds from the lakeside, and planted many natives — grasses & shrubs — plus the beautiful cherry trees will also help filter water run-off.
The Capital One “work at home” team, taking a break from planting. From left to right Karen Thorpe, Ann Hedberg, Tara Benedetti, Amy Ryan, Melissa Kuhnle, Betsy Cochran, Claire Dunford, Mary Van Buren, Cly Holloway, China Harding, and Debbie Korosi.
Since the Capital One “work at home” team, work from home, and not in the central office, working together in the Garden volunteering was an opportunity to get to know each other better.
Planting as team-building is a great way to get to know your co-workers. Here Tara Benedetti. is planting some new natives.
On the other side of Lake Sydnor, members of the Pocahontas Chapter of the Native Plant Society worked with Garden staff and Garden volunteers to complete the planting. This was a huge team effort by all, and could not have been completed in such a short time-frame without the help from multiple groups. We were rewarded by Mother Nature with a good 12-hour soaking rain, just after we finished the planting.
The new plantings for the Cherry Tree Walk go all the way around the lake. Here’s a snapshot of one completed area.