Call for Volunteer Ambassadors at Stoneleigh
MEDIA, Pa., November 21, 2019 – Natural Lands announced today it is accepting applications for the 2020 Stoneleigh Ambassador volunteer training program. Modeled on the organization’s incredibly successful Force of Nature® program, volunteers attend five, hands-on training sessions at Stoneleigh: a natural garden in Villanova. Upon graduation, the volunteer Ambassadors serve as greeters, tour guides, and special event helpers for the 42-acre botanical garden.
“More than 60 years ago, a group of volunteers who were passionate about the Philadelphia region’s open space founded Natural Lands,” said Oliver Bass, president of Natural Lands. “Today, Natural Lands’ Ambassadors play a vital role in continuing our founders’ work. Their energy and commitment to Stoneleigh is inspiring.”
For nearly 80 years, Stoneleigh was the home of the Haas family, who donated the property to conservation non-profit Natural Lands in 2016 so that it would remain preserved forever. After much preparation, planning, and planting, Stoneleigh opened to the public in May of 2018. Today, Stoneleigh is a showcase for blending the aesthetic beauty of designed gardens with the natural richness and biodiversity of native habitats that are essential to the health of our planet. Extraordinary trees, sweeping vistas, and intimate garden spaces offer a variety of opportunities to explore, learn, relax, and be inspired.
Garden Ambassadors enjoy a sense of giving back and the connection to the natural world while forming close friendships with like-minded fellow volunteers.
“We meet visitors from all over the country and enjoy hearing their stories. It’s also great to work with the children and witness their excitement in exploring and learning about nature,” said Ralph Hall, current Stoneleigh Ambassador.
Added Lin Hall, “It is exciting to train and work alongside the Stoneleigh staff. We have learned so much about the history and gardens from them. What’s more, we get to observe the changes in the trees and other garden plants throughout the growing season. It’s such a pleasure to volunteer in such a beautiful setting!”
“I love being an Ambassador at Stoneleigh,” shared volunteer Marlene Campbell. “It is such a serene place. I feel a wonderful sense of calm when I am here, which is hard to achieve in the 24/7 connected world we live in. I enjoy the friendships I have formed with the other volunteers and I love meeting visitors and telling them about the history and beauty of Stoneleigh.”
Ambassadors participate in five comprehensive, hands-on training sessions in which they learn the history of Stoneleigh, principles of ecological horticulture, guidelines for engaging guests, and much more. Training sessions will be held at Stoneleigh in Villanova on the following dates:
- Thursday, January 30, 9:00 AM-12:30 PM
- Thursday, February 13, 9:00 AM-12:30 PM
- Thursday, February 27, 9:00 AM-12:30 PM
- Thursday, March 12, 9:00 AM-12:30 PM
- Thursday, March 26, 9:00 AM-12:30 PM
The deadline to apply for the Stoneleigh Ambassador program is December 31, 2019. For more information or to apply, visit stoneleighgarden.org/volunteer.
The program fee, including a one-year Natural Lands membership, is $150. For current Natural Lands members, the fee is $100.
Natural Lands is dedicated to preserving and nurturing nature’s wonders while creating opportunities for joy and discovery in the outdoors for everyone. As the Greater Philadelphia region’s oldest and largest land conservation organization, Natural Lands—which is member supported—has preserved more than 125,000 acres, including 44 nature preserves totaling more than 23,000 acres. Some 2.5 million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. Land for life, nature for all. natlands.org.
Kirsten Werner, Senior Director of Communications
610-353-5587 ext. 267