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The Garden Path

Volunteers: The Heart of the Garden

Portland Japanese Garden volunteers are often at the heart of the Garden’s mission to educate the public about Japanese gardens and culture.

They put a great deal of time and energy into learning about Portland Japanese Garden and preparing for their individual roles, whether that is studying the Garden’s history, learning the craft of bonsai, or preparing to teach the public about four Art in the Garden exhibits each year.

“Our volunteers take part in all of the docent orientations. And this year, they attended an important cultural competency training for the current Forest of Dreams exhibition,” said Catherine Adinolfi, Tour and Volunteer Manager.

During the Ice & Stone exhibition earlier this year, Garden volunteers contributed 300 hours of their time to successfully staff the exhibition and share the art of viewing stones with the public, Adinolfi said. “They are incredible.”

Our visitors have given feedback that Garden volunteers provide “insightful, knowledgeable, and useful information about art exhibitions and individual gardens that would have been otherwise lost.”

Aside from participating in National Volunteer Week and celebrating the efforts of our volunteers, the Garden gives back through continuing education. In 2019, there will be 18 trainings for volunteers with presentations by various experts, including the Garden’s Deputy Director, the Director of Ground Maintenance, our Bonsai Consultant, the Garden Curator, as well as by other visiting experts, artists, and scholars.

Portland Japanese Garden will be hosting a volunteer appreciation reception on Sunday, July 21 from 6pm – 8pm. The event marks an occasion for the organization to offer its gratitude for all of the contributions made by an exceptional and dedicated corps of volunteers