|Cultivating sanctuary in nature, environmental stewardship and the legacy of southern horticulture.|
There are many ways in which you can become involved at Wing Haven, and you always have the opportunity to give a little—or a lot—of your time.
Please feel free to call the Wing Haven office at 704-331-0664 if you have any questions—or if you’d like to join our group of volunteers.
Our Nursery Shop stocks a variety of "hard-to-find" plant materials—shrubs, herbs, perennials, bulbs, ground covers, and antique roses.
Shop volunteers have the unique opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn from the experts. The shop is open on Wednesday mornings.
"Regulars" assist in organizing, potting and labeling plants in preparation for our Fall and Spring Plant Sales.
During the winter months, the Nursery volunteers meet for gardening classes in the Education Building at Wing Haven. (Tea and cookies are provided!) Classes start at 9:30 am on Wednesdays. Please join us!
Volunteers may also elect to work as cashiers or sales assistants during our spring and fall shop weeks.
HANDS-ON IN THE GARDEN!
Have you ever wanted to volunteer in one of the Wing Haven gardens? There is no better way to learn about gardening or the history and nuances of Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary or the Elizabeth Lawrence Garden than to work alongside fellow gardening enthusiasts under the direction of Jeff Drum, Wing Haven's Garden Curator.
Currently there are several hands-on opportunities to work in Wing Haven's gardens:
PEEPS (Preschool Environmental Education Program)
During the academic year children from a number of Charlotte’s inner-city preschools visit Wing Haven once a month to participate in our preschool outreach. The curriculum is literacy-based, and each class meeting follows this format: circle time and a new story each visit, then a garden walk and hands-on activity that relate to the story.
Our Wing Haven Docents serve as tour guides for groups visiting the garden. Our volunteer docents have the exclusive opportunity to learn more about Wing Haven—our history, birds and plants—and to share that knowledge with others.
Approximately 90% of the groups touring the garden are school children. We also have groups from garden clubs and retirement homes. Typically, our docents volunteer one morning per month and will guide two groups through the garden between the hours of 9 am and noon, but scheduling is flexible.
Our children’s programs include special events to introduce members’ children and other friends to the fun and surprises of a year in the garden. Typically we offer 3 or 4 seasonal events each year. Our garden year concludes with our annual holiday tree decorating for the birds.
Our hospitality volunteers plan and coordinate Wing Haven parties and events: lunch for hard-working volunteers during our semi-annual Plant Sales, Patrons’ Party and Holiday Program. If you would like to help with our events—planning, set-up, food preparation & presentation, flowers, clean-up—this is the job for you!
Our Hosts and Hostesses introduce visitors from near and far to Wing Haven and the Clarksons. There is always a volunteer host or hostess in the house during our weekday visiting hours—Tuesday afternoons from 3 to 5 PM and Wednesday mornings from 10 AM to noon. During our semi-annual Plant Sales a welcome table staffed by volunteers is set up near the main gate to greet visitors and provide assistance. If you want to be an ambassador for Wing Haven, this is the spot! In general, volunteers work during a regular time slot each month; however, you may choose to be on call as a substitute.
Volunteers help assemble and organize renewal notices for mailing. A few hours in amiable company three times a year is all that’s needed to help with this project that helps ensure Wing Haven’s financial health.
Help spread the word about the many Wing Haven-sponsored activities and special events—plant sales, garden tours, symposia, etc. Publicity volunteers assist with sign placement and other advertising for these events.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact the Wing Haven Office (704-331-0664, ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
What our volunteers say about the gardens...
“Every time you come in, you learn something new.”
Pat Hartsell, 4-year volunteer
“Come early and walk the gardens. That’s the most wonderful time.”
Dawn Ridley, Volunteer
“The garden has the friendliest, nicest people. Everyone is so willing to share their knowledge.”
Sue Riley, Volunteer
“Everybody here has their specialty. I’ve lived in Charlotte all my life but never knew about Wing Haven. I was so busy with my own family and life that I didn’t have time to do much else. One man, his name was Shiloh, told his family that he was going to paradise. It’s just a place to get away from the rest of the world, and the people are wonderful.”
“Where else can you go and see things that no one else has? Maybe at University levels... A trial garden in a residential setting. I lived less than a block away and never knew what was behind the brick wall. It’s absolutely Charlotte’s best-kept secret.”