Elizabeth de la Baume.
Updated: August 21, 2012 11:09AM
Elizabeth de la Baume of Northbrook was named this year’s Chicago Botanic Garden “Volunteer of the Year” on June 13 at the annual awards reception. The Garden initiated the award in 1984 to focus attention on the outstanding support given to the Chicago Botanic Garden each year by all volunteers and to recognize the contribution of one volunteer as an example of extraordinary service.
De la Baum began volunteering at the Garden in 1997 and overtime has contributed more than 4,400 hours of service. A retired teacher from Glenview School District 34, de la Baum is known for her dependability, accuracy and keen observations. She began volunteering in the Garden Shop and now works as a volunteer scientist in the Waterfowl Management Program to study the phosphorus level in the Garden’s lakes.
Also recognized was Marnee Kenny, who received the Barbara Whitney Carr Excellence in Leadership Award for her passionate enthusiasm as a Garden ambassador. The award started in 2007 and recognizes excellence in innovation and leadership toward new projects and programming. In 2006, Kenny began volunteering in the English Walled Garden and has subsequently served in McDonald Woods, the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Specialty Areas, the Esplanade, Malott Japanese Garden, Lakeside Gardens and Rose Garden. She has accumulated 2,500 hours of service and also has volunteered in the Garden’s Volunteer Services Office.
Bob Sharp was awarded the Five Star Customer Service Award for his work as a greeter in the Visitor Center. His friendly and courteous assistance to visitors was recognized as a hallmark of what makes the Chicago Botanic Garden a world-class destination.
In addition, Ruth Schiff was selected as the Garden’s “Super Senior.” Schiff began volunteering in 1987 and has served in Interpretive Programs, Youth Education Programs, Plant Production and in the Malott Japanese Garden. She has contributed 3,700 hours of service and was recognized for providing first class customer service.
The Chicago Botanic Garden has more than 2,000 volunteers who contribute their time and talents to the Garden. In 2011, these dedicated individuals broke volunteer service records, giving more than 112,413 hours of support to the Garden. For information on volunteer opportunities at the Chicago Botanic Garden, call (847) 835-8392, or visit the Garden’s website at www.chicagobotanic.org/volunteer.