Rediscover Allerton: Volunteering at Allerton Park and Retreat Center

As the leaves are changing and falling to the ground and the temperature outside is dropping, I am entering my third month as Volunteer Coordinator at Allerton. So far my new position has been a whirlwind of new faces and experiences. I meet new people all the time and am constantly being challenged by the tasks and responsibilities that come with my job. I have to say, even at this relatively early junction, I absolutely love it.

Prior to August of this year, it had been almost five years since Allerton Park had a Volunteer Coordinator. I have searched through countless files and documents left behind by the person who previously held my position, and it is clear that the absence of this position had a profoundly negative effect on the Volunteer Program. Volunteers benefit from having a coordinator, and Allerton certainly benefits from having volunteers.

I don’t want to make it sound like Allerton hasn’t seen a volunteer in five years, quite the opposite. We have a core group of volunteers that have remained active and dedicated to the park for years. They work regular schedules and care about Allerton very much. Their contribution is immeasurable. What I do mean is that there have been very few new volunteers coming out to start their own relationship with the park. This is something we are planning on changing in the coming year. We want to start seeing new faces at Allerton, as well as faces that just haven’t been around for a while. We will be hosting an informational orientation next February for all those interested in volunteering at Allerton. This orientation will include specific information on volunteer opportunities, job descriptions, and Allerton Park in general. I encourage anyone interested in or curious about volunteering at Allerton to contact me for more information about this orientation.

I have spoken to many people over these last few weeks about their experience, past and present, at Allerton, and the overwhelming majority of them have been touched in some way by their time here. I can’t say I’m surprised. Allerton is both ornately spectacular and quietly simplistic. This simplicity means that several different visitors can come out to Allerton, travel the same paths, visit the same gardens, and view the same sculptures but all have a uniquely personal experience. The same is true for our volunteers. What each volunteer takes from their time at Allerton is special and unique. Some come out for the fresh air and solitude, some for the personal relationships and new friends, some for the excitement of special events. Whatever their reason for coming out to Allerton, volunteers are sure to get more than they expected from the experience.

Contact information:

Mindy Brand
Volunteer Coordinator
333-3287 ext. 113

November 16th, 2012 by Allerton | Posted in Rediscover Allerton