Zoo Gardeners News

Thank you to all our Adopt-a-Gardeners for a wonderful year, and we hope to see you back next year!

For more garden news, check out the monthly updates below

December 2020

Hello gardeners! 

 

While the season for gardening is over, we haven't forgotten about the countless hours our volunteers have devoted to their gardens. The holidays are a time for sharing and coming together. Since we can't bring in over 200 garden volunteers, we decided to make another way to hear your stories. 

 

We know each garden is a labor of love. Some of them are organizations, sharing the joy of gardening with their team. Some are families, teaching younger gardeners the tricks of the trade. While others are memorial gardens, gardening in spirit with those who are no longer here. 

 

We would love it if you would take a few minutes (maybe with a cup of hot coco by a roaring fire) and write or type up the story of your garden. You can include things like: 

  • Why you decided to start this garden
  • How long you've been gardening (with us or in in general)
  • What other gardeners you share your garden with (do you come with a co-worker, or are little hands the best helpers for your plot?)
  • Anything else you would like to share with us
  • Feel free to include a picture of your garden or gardeners too!

At the end, please include a note on if we can share your garden story with other volunteers, staff, or the public. We'll always check with you before sharing your story.

 

Your garden story will also be added to your MyImpact site, so you can view or edit it at any time.

 

You can email your story to kmccarthy@saginawzoo.com. If you would like to write and mail your story, please send it to: 

 

1730 S Washington Ave

Saginaw, MI 48601

 

Have a wonderful holiday season!

November 2020

Hello Gardeners! 

 

Just a few upcoming reminders for you:

 

The Zoo will be closed for gardeners Saturday, October 31st!

  • Please come join us for garden clean-up week starting Sunday, November 1st

Garden Clean-up November 1st-7th! 

  • This is the time to remove your Halloween & garden decorations, trim back your perennials, and remove your annuals! 
  • During these days we will also have large re-usable leaf bags for you to use if you have a lot you need to remove in your garden. Grab one from the horticulture area, fill them up and leave them by your garden. We’ll get them at the end of the day! Pumpkins and hay may go in the compost area. 
  • If you have any bags of rocks, mulch, or dirt stashed by your gardens, please be sure to take it home with you! As the winter snow will degrade any bags left out, anything left outside after the November 9th will be removed and used in the zoo. 
  • Please place your garden sign in the garden shed in the horticulture area or take it home with you to keep it looking great for next season. 
  • Please remove anything of yours from the purple shelf in the horticulture area before the end of the season! Anything left on the shelf after November 9th is free game. 

Since we didn’t get to have a big garden pot-luck party for everyone this year, there will be hot chocolate, coffee, tea, water, and some sweet treats available for you in the Zoo Store 10am-1pm every day November 1st-7th. Grab some hot drinks and catch up with the other gardeners—just remember to keep it 6 feet apart! 

 

We can't thank you enough for all the work you've put in this season! We know it has been a stressful time for everyone. The beautiful flowers and fun decorations have made this year extra special for all our guests and staff! We appreciate you! 

 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about this season or the next. Be sure to come find me to say hello when you come to clean your garden, I would love to see you! 

October 2020

Hello Gardeners! 

 

Just a few upcoming reminders for you:

 

The Zoo will be closed for gardeners Saturday, October 31st!

  • Please come join us for garden clean-up week starting Sunday, November 1st

Garden Clean-up November 1st-7th! 

  • This is the time to remove your Halloween & garden decorations, trim back your perennials, and remove your annuals! 
  • During these days we will also have large re-usable leaf bags for you to use if you have a lot you need to remove in your garden. Grab one from the horticulture area, fill them up and leave them by your garden. We’ll get them at the end of the day! Pumpkins and hay may go in the compost area. 
  • If you have any bags of rocks, mulch, or dirt stashed by your gardens, please be sure to take it home with you! As the winter snow will degrade any bags left out, anything left outside after the November 9th will be removed and used in the zoo. 
  • Please place your garden sign in the garden shed in the horticulture area or take it home with you to keep it looking great for next season. 
  • Please remove anything of yours from the purple shelf in the horticulture area before the end of the season! Anything left on the shelf after November 9th is free game

Since we didn’t get to have a big garden pot-luck party for everyone this year, there will be hot chocolate, coffee, tea, water, and some sweet treats available for you in the Zoo Store 10am-1pm every day November 1st-7th. Grab some hot drinks and catch up with the other gardeners—just remember to keep it 6 feet apart! 

 

We can't thank you enough for all the work you've put in this season! We know it has been a stressful time for everyone. The beautiful flowers and fun decorations have made this year extra special for all our guests and staff! We appreciate you! 

 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about this season or the next. Be sure to come find me to say hello when you come to clean your garden, I would love to see you! 

September 2020

Hello Gardeners,  

  

I have a few updates for you this month!  

 

First off, thank you to all the gardeners who have logged into our online volunteer portal!   

I've been thrilled with the positive feedback I've heard from gardeners who can now enter their hours from the convenience of their home. For those gardeners who have had some trouble logging in, please reach out! I am more than happy to walk you through the process over the phone or in person.  

 

I also want to make sure everyone knows there will ALWAYS be a paper option available for gardeners who prefer to log their hours that way! 

  

Second, the Saginaw Children's Zoo will be having our annual Zoo Boo event with a GARDEN CONTEST! 

With everything that's going on, Zoo Boo will look very different this year, so we need your help! As we won't be able to have a lot of our usual events and activities, we have decided to decorate the zoo to the MAX. To help create our merry not-so-scary atmosphere, we are encouraging our gardeners to go ALL OUT with their Halloween decorations this year.   

  

Pumpkins! Skeletons! Fall Decor! You name it! Just remember not to put out anything too small and secure your decorations–we don't want any TRICKS with animals, storms, or little hands moving your decorations around.   

 

To enter the contest, decorations need to be in your garden before October 5th. On that day staff will take photos of all gardens that are decked out for Halloween. All the photos will be posted to our Facebook page with gardens grouped into one of four sections (Blue, Red, Green, and Orange). By the end of the week, whichever garden gets the most “likes" in each section will win a $25 Visa gift card, a spooky “Way to Grow" sign in their garden, and best of all, bragging rights. 

 

We have decided to do the annual contest online this year due to COVID so guests can vote safely from their computer and not have to handle slips of paper. I will send out another email when the photos are up so you can tell all your friends and family to go vote!  

  

Zoo Boo itself will be October 16th-18th and 23rd-25th and guests will be able to pick out the winners easily by the “Way to Grow" signs! If you are interested in volunteering to give out goodie bags at the event, let me know! 

  

Lastly, I wanted to give a big thank you to all our gardeners and garden assistants who have been working hard this season.   

The beauty and quirks of your gardens help guests (and staff!) relive some of the stress of the past few months. Something to feel good about! 

  

That's it for now! As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hello!  

  

Happy gardening,   

August 2020

Hello Adopt-A-Garden Volunteers!

 

Our Adopt-A-Garden program is getting a face lift! You can expect a few new things coming your way including:

  • Fun stone markers painted by volunteers for each garden
  • New ways to log your hours 
  • Updated handbook with new regulations and procedures
  • Formal orientation for all new gardeners (this does not include volunteers that help out with an existing garden group. It will be for new garden groups or any current gardener who would like to attend)
  • New garden plots! 

Did you know we have over 60 people on our Adopt-A-Garden wait list??

 

The first step to a more organized program is setting up all of our gardeners with MyImpact, our volunteer portal! Good news is I've taken care of the hard part–each garden already has its own login created. All I need from you is to make sure I got everything right.

 

Attached are instructions on how to login to MyImpact, and what we need from you once you sign in!

 

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am more than happy to help walk you through the process over the phone, email, or in person the next time you are in!

 

E-mails have been sent to everyone listed as the primary contact for one of our gardens. Please be sure to login by August 31st!

 

Don't forget to log your volunteer hours!

Questions? Feel free to email our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteers@saginawzoo.com  or call at (989) 759-1408 x118.