Seventeen enthusiastic and energetic RSVP-Northern Virginia volunteers hit the ground digging Thursday morning, June 6, at the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Green Spring Gardens Park, located between Annandale and Alexandria in Fairfax County.
Story & photos by Rob Paine, RSVP-Northern Virginia Outreach and Marketing Specialist
The volunteers spent three hours clearing brush and weeds from plant beds in the park’s main gardens as well as from the gardens that line the park’s main entrance way. They also covered the cleared areas with a fresh layer of mulch.
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Thursday’s project was part park’s preparation for a showcase tour taking place later this month being held for attendees of the 2019 American Public Gardens Association conference. Green Spring Gardens, one of the leading botanical gardens in the region, was chosen to be featured on the tour after going through a involved application process.
RSVP volunteers received raves reviews from the park staff.
“We were thrilled by how helpful and hard- working everyone was. The front entrance and beech bed gardens look so much better for your hard work,” said Susan Eggerton, visitor services manager at Green Spring Gardens, referring to the work done by RSVP volunteers. “Your team’s efforts got us that much closer to being showcase ready for the public and our upcoming tour. “
RSVP volunteers received a very warm reception from the park’s staff before the project began. Park staff talked a little about the history of Green Spring and discussed what Thursday’s goals were. Volunteers were also provided with refreshments throughout the project.
Volunteers worked along-side staff and its volunteer Master Gardeners who shared their knowledge and expertise about gardening with everyone.
Leading the effort from RSVP were volunteer specialist Brandi Morris and RSVP volunteer engagement leaders Ken Kozloff and Shelley Brosnan, both veterans of other RSVP garden projects. Thursday’s event had the greatest turnout of RSVP volunteers for any garden project held by RSVP so far.
Since the event was such a success, RSVP and Green Spring are discussing holding another service project for RSVP volunteers at the park in the fall.
Green Spring, one of the region’s premier public gardens, is located at 4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, VA 22312. The park is located off Route 236 between Annandale and Alexandria. The park has a wooded stream valley with ponds, a naturalistic native plant garden, more than 20 thematic demonstration gardens, a greenhouse, a plant shop, two gift shops, a historic house, and a horticultural reference library. Park grounds are open from dawn to dusk. Ample parking is available. For more information on Green Spring Gardens please click on Green Spring Gardens Park
If you are interested in volunteering at Green Spring Gardens please contact Brandi at RSVP at 703-403-5360.
Here is a gallery of our volunteers doing their great work at the park on June 6.
Thank you again to all of our RSVP’ers, including our two fantastic volunteer engagement leaders, for making this project such a success.
RSVP- Northern Virginia offers more than 300 meaningful opportunities that include helping seniors age in place, assisting local food pantries, and teaching financial literacy. RSVP also recruits volunteers for various community events including the upcoming Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.
Each RSVP member receives personalized support from our volunteer specialist who helps matches our volunteers with meaningful, social, convenient and fun volunteer experiences. This is a free service provided to all those 55 and better in RSVP’s service area.
RSVP volunteers enjoy flexible schedules, free accident and liability insurance while serving, optional mileage and meal reimbursement and are invited to volunteer group service projects and social gatherings.
Volunteering with RSVP is healthy, social and fun.
To learn more about RSVP, please visit www.rsvpnova.org.
RSVP-Northern Virginia is a program of Volunteer Fairfax, Volunteer Alexandria and Volunteer Arlington.