Steve Dunbar knows exactly what he loves most about being a Visitor Services volunteer. “The contact with people! And, “he adds, “the ones who come here tend to be really nice.”
They are also full of questions. “In Visitor Services,” he explains, “you help people learn how to use and enjoy the Garden. In person or on the phone, they want information — about a plant, an event, the location of a memorial tree or bench, it could be anything.” The volunteers are trained for their role and gain more knowledge with every shift, but they also have the help of a comprehensive binder, kept current by staff. “It is our constant resource,” says Steve.
His comfort with the unexpected reflects a lifetime of meeting new people and adapting to change. He and wife Margaret met in Nigeria as volunteers (he with Peace Corps, she with CUSO), moved around, later took their young family to a posting in Malawi and finally settled in Vancouver. In fall 2016, they choose the Garden for post-retirement volunteer activity. “All three of our children had worked here, and we often brought the grandchildren here,” says Steve. He gins. “We just love this place so much!”
Written by Penny W., Volunteer Writer