Olbrich’s Charm Brings Volunteer Delight

Janet Loewi, president of the Olbrich Botanical Gardens Society board of directors, calls Olbrich Gardens a restful place for people of all ages and backgrounds.

“I enjoy the beauty that it provides and the inspiration that it provides for others to make their homes and areas beautiful,” she says.

Loewi is also amazed by the large scope of visitors Olbrich draws.

“Most of the groups that I see there are muti-generational: parents and their children, or parents and their parents or grandparents and their grandchildren,” she says. “I really enjoy that Olbrich gives so many different people a place that they enjoy.”

Olbrich Gardens boasts 16 acres of outdoor gardens and the indoor tropic Boltz Conservatory. Olbrich hosts events year-round. During summer, children chase butterflies through the gardens at Blooming Butterflies, spring brings the Plant Sale with the Pros and concerts, and art exhibits entertain guests in the winter.

Loewi says she appreciates the educational aspect of the gardens. Events like Blooming Butterflies aim to educate children about the creatures flying in the gardens.

But what made Loewi begin volunteering for Olbrich?

“Somebody asked,” she says, laughing. “I knew it was a good cause at the time. It brings joy to a lot of people.”

Loewi says she has been making trips to Olbrich since the early ’80s, taking her children to visit when they were younger. She says she is proud of her involvement in the organization.

“I enjoy when I say that I’m on the board of Olbrich Gardens and many people’s faces just light up and they say, ‘Oh, I love Olbrich Gardens.’”

Loewi is also a member of the Rhapsody in Bloom Committee, helping to plan and promote this year’s New Orleans-style garden party.

As a board member recruited for her business experience, Loewi says she began to bridge out and plan events and fundraise; she recently began gardening for Olbrich. Gardeners volunteer in teams of six and come once a week to upkeep the gardens. “Helping in the gardens is always a favorite,” Loewi says.

But volunteering in the gardens is only one of the ways Olbrich’s 600 volunteers help out. Other positions include docents in the gardens, plant sale volunteers, event planning and fundraising.

“We always can use the help,” Loewi says. “We can probably find a task for almost anything that someone would like to do.”

For more information about Olbrich Botanical Gardens, please visit www.olbrich.org


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