Giving Thanks for Volunteers

Tis the season to give thanks, and this month, we want to express our sincere gratitude to all of the unsung heroes at 577 – our amazing volunteers! They are the folks who keep 577 buzzing!

577 volunteers show up despite the rain and snow and heat to assist our staff with things like weeding the gardens, maintaining the pottery studio, sorting through book and art donations in the Welcome Center & Curiosity Shop, and keeping our public spaces tidy and clean, among many other things. Their dedication to 577 and willingness to give back are what make 577 a magical place for every single visitor who steps foot on our grounds.

Volunteer Spotlight ~ The Wonder of Bees and Butterflies

Grant and Susan Garn have been fostering monarch caterpillars for over a decade and have generously volunteered their time to maintain the beloved Butterfly Hut at 577 since 2018. As a result, thousands of visitors can experience a visual journey through the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly each year and witness every stage up close. Each chrysalis hangs protected from predators (thanks to the custom-built hutch that was funded by the Perrysburg Garden Club) until it’s ready to emerge and be released to the skies. Many thanks to the Garns for all of their support over the years. We are certain their contribution has inspired numerous young minds to be the next generation of entomologists, botanists, and scientists!

Local beekeeper Dan Bollett has been a valued 577 volunteer who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for many years tending to hives on the property, maintaining the observation hive that educates our visitors on the life of the honeybee, and most recently, partnering to provide the honey that is sold in the Shop. His efforts allow these important creatures to perform the vital function of pollination, helping our gardens to produce flowers and vegetables. We want to thank and acknowledge Dan for his many years of service as he “retires” from his beekeeping duties at 577 in 2023, and welcome our new volunteer beekeeper, Sara Brunner.

Green Thumbs and Group Volunteers

As you know, 577 is dedicated to organic gardening principles that reject the use of artificial chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. This is good news for the environment, but it also means our horticulture team has a big job to do when it comes to warding off weeds and pests across our 13-acre property. That’s where our garden volunteers come in!

577 Green Thumb volunteers show up each week to help maintain our grounds and gardens, cut the grass, and assist with pest control. The grounds and gardens also benefit from many group volunteers who take time from their day to lend a helping hand. This year, 577 welcomed volunteer groups from BGSU, Penta, Perrysburg High School, Luther Home of Mercy, and Wood County Department of Developmental Disabilities, to name just a few.

These fantastic volunteers aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves, pick up a rake or get down in the dirt. Thank you to everyone who has helped make our grounds and gardens shine!

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.

Coretta Scott King

Our founder, Virginia Secor Stranahan, was taught at a young age about the importance of giving back to the community through volunteer service. She not only believed in these values, but she lived them through her actions. Our volunteers are just like Virginia in that way. They are amazing people who are giving back in small but meaningful ways. We think Virginia would be proud of all of the open-hearted generosity and the hours in service to others on display here each and every day.

Are you interested in getting involved? Click HERE to learn more about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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Join us for Music in the Gardens on Saturday, August 10, from 11am to 3pm. Events are free, family-friendly, and rain or shine.