NOTE: Water, including restrooms, temporarily unavailable in Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden. Use facilities in Welcome Pavilion.
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VOLUNTEER PROFILE

Anna White

Plant Records volunteer assists Garden in documenting its present with an eye to the future.

Volunteers donate thousands of hours to the Garden each year. By sharing their time and talents in a variety of different areas, volunteers help the Garden achieve key mission-focused goals. Volunteering is something everyone can do to help grow the Garden and give back to the community.

Anna White’s volunteering experience at the Garden began with the Horticulture team, where she worked to improve the display gardens by helping with continuous maintenance tasks that make each area shine.

A native Houstonian, Anna had recently returned from studying in the Midwest when she began looking for gardens and collections where she could volunteer.

When Anna initially reached out to the Garden, she explained why she was drawn to volunteer here. “I have a modest collection of potted plants, and like many during the pandemic, the time spent ritualistically checking their progress and their health was becoming increasingly important. Having something like a living collection, brings a certain level of novelty to even the most routine tasks,” she said.

After she started volunteering with Horticulture outdoors, it wasn’t long before her skills and expertise made her a natural fit to support the Plant Records team.

 
 
Anne White

Plant Records’ goal is to record all living taxa in the collections, and it requires a special kind of volunteer: one who is comfortable with research, has an ability to discern quality information, and someone whose curiosity about all things plants is matched with attention to detail.

The data recorded supports the Horticulture and Plant Records living collections in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to: display labels and accession tags, as well as the Garden’s conservation and education goals.

Following the 2022 freeze from Winter Storm Elliot, the Plant Records staff initiated a taxa project to compare the inventory after the freeze to existing taxa in the Plant Records Database.

Anna’s help with this taxa project was critical from March-April 2023, as she became the first reviewer of data and then lead volunteer to train others interested in doing similar work.

Following her work with Plant Records, Anna lent her skills and talents to other areas of the Garden, including the Education team, where she assisted with BotaniCamp, the plant-centric nature camp for K-5 students.

Since April, she has completed over 60 volunteer hours, and we are so grateful for her many contributions to improving the Garden.

Asked why she volunteers, Anna said, “I volunteer at the Garden because I feel like it connects me both to a place and to a community. Having the opportunity to serve while being surrounded by beauty is something unique to a garden space or natural landscape. I do also volunteer at museums, but there isn’t that evolution within the objects the way the plants change through the seasons.”

Our Mission

Enriching life through discovery, education, and the conservation of plants and the natural environment.

Hours

DAILY
9:00 am — 5:00 pm

Garden Entrance
One Botanic Lane
Houston, TX 77017
Mailing Address

8205 N. Bayou Drive
Houston, TX 77017

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