Group photo of volunteers
From left: Volunteers Martha Rehrman, Fred Rehrman, Craig Dinger, Perla Dinger, Suzanne Gibbons, Dawn Adams, Kent Bradford, Marty West, Chris Weber-Johnson, and team leader Ryan Deering. (Missing from photo: Volunteers Kend Linderholm, and Dorothy Brandon.)

Volunteer Team Spotlight: Tuesday Morning Volunteer Gardeners

Ryan Deering, a GATEways Horticulturist in the Arboretum, leads a Tuesday Morning volunteer team of a dozen people who work primarily in the Australian and New Zealand sections on the east end of the Arboretum. They also periodically volunteer in other campus areas and gardens, and help with special campus projects.

“This team has a nice community spirit,” said Ryan. “They enjoy working together and learn a lot by moving around to different areas.” The volunteers have diverse talents — from emeriti UC Davis faculty to experts in health care, event planning, farming, educating, community leadership, and more. “We’re blessed to have talent to do such diverse work and create open spaces,” added Ryan. “It’s true that ‘Many hands make light work’.”

Ryan Deering has led this group since 2007, and has been on the Arboretum staff for about 20 years.I have seen many positive changes” he noted. “There are new gardens and collections every year, and we have more staff, volunteers, and students working with us.” The Teaching Nursery is also much larger and has better facilities to support the growing plant sales and the diversity of plants for this area.

The Arboretum provides highly-used community areas, where campus and local people come year-round to get exercise and fresh air, and learn about the environment,” said Ryan. In addition to improving the areas, Arboretum staff and several volunteer teams thrive on stewarding existing trees and wildlife (from birds to insects), while experimenting with climate-ready plants for a changing future. We’re testing plants for their ability to thrive in heat, and tolerate low to no irrigation,” added Ryan. Collectively we all make a big difference through the work we do to create sustainable and beautiful places for people. 

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