Nestled at the core of Tyler Arboretum is a devoted community of active volunteers driven by a shared love for nature and a steadfast commitment to service.

On November 16, Tyler celebrated these individuals at its annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner. This heartfelt occasion is designed to express gratitude to those who dedicated at least twenty hours of their time and effort during the twelve-month time frame of September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023. The barn was filled with lively chatter, the aroma of delicious food and people who love Tyler.

Nancy Heinbaugh, interim Volunteer Coordinator, emphasized Tyler Arboretum’s distinctive approach to recognition, stating, “While hours are important, we also believe that the quality of the hours should be recognized and celebrated.”

Nomination and voting for outstanding volunteers were conducted collaboratively by Tyler’s staff and the dedicated corps of volunteers.

Volunteers play a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations and execution of special events at Tyler Arboretum. Their selfless contribution of time is instrumental in the success of the organization. The Volunteer Recognition Dinner is not merely a token gesture; it stands as a celebration of the spirit of giving back. 

Volunteers and Tyler staff enjoying the camaraderie of the evening in the Barn.

Tom Renkey receives Leadership award from Director of Horticulture, Mike Karkowski.

Nancy Heinbaugh providing opening remarks at the November 16 dinner.

During the event, Tyler Awards were bestowed upon individuals who exemplify the pillars of stewardship, education, conservation, and community service. This year’s honorees showcase exemplary dedication and passion. David Eberly and Tom Renkey received the Leadership Award; Sylvia Bachman and Brian Layton were recognized with the All-Star Award; Joan McClintock and Nancy Harris received the Communications Award; and Eric Long was honored as the Rookie of the Year. Additionally, over forty others were acknowledged for accumulating at least 100 or more volunteer hours in 2023, with five people accumulating more than 300 hours. An amazing achievement!

Board of Trustees President, Heather Saunders, honors David Eberly.

The volunteers at Tyler Arboretum form a diverse group, supporting nearly every department within the institution. From those passionate about soil and cultivation to those assisting in daily operations and events, their collective efforts provide an indispensable service, enhancing the arboretum experience for all visitors.

Interested in joining a community of passionate individuals whose contributions have a profound affect on Tyler Arboretum?

Become a volunteer! Learn more here.