Member Spotlight

Christine Haddon
Volunteer Coordinator
Beech Creek Garden & Nature Preserve

Christine Haddon is the Volunteer Coordinator at Beech Creek Garden & Nature Preserve. Christine joined FVA this year after being a member of DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies. When asked what Christine enjoys most about working with volunteers, she shared that she loves working with a diverse group of people and enjoys the “fresh outside perspectives of those who come to an organization and the experiences or situations that have brought them to the organization.” Christine was pleased to say that she has made some of her closest friends through volunteering. She says that it is her hope that her volunteers have found “that place” that brings them joy, satisfaction and a sense of community and a contribution that they are proud of. Christine is inspired by her volunteers and the experiences that they bring to Beech Creek Garden & Nature Preserve. Christine continues, “I am also inspired by my past volunteer coordinator positions and former Executive Directors. I still carry their messages with me and work toward emulating them.”

Christine encourages those interested in the field of volunteer administration to have fun with your job. The position will be challenging, but also very rewarding. She shares, “There is no better way to impact your community than providing opportunities to come together and make a difference. As a volunteer coordinator, you help an organization meet its goals and objectives, while lifting volunteers to find the place within them that shines with accomplishment and contribution.”

A fun fact about Christine is that she is also a Birth Doula! When asked what one thing is – industry related or not – that she has learned in the last month, Christine says, “Two puppies are a LOT more work than just one!” Good luck with those pups, Christine, and thank you for all you do for your volunteers and community!

Beech Creek Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve is a 181-acre gem tucked away in Alliance, in Stark County. In addition to “gardens,” their property is 80% forested with several streams, a pond and several hiking/walking trails. During the summer, Beech Creek features a butterfly house and caterpillar nursery - filled with multiple species of butterfly and their host plants. School field trips fill their spring calendar as their Education Department hosts weekly Kids Adventure Camps in the summer. Beech Creek is a family-oriented destination, providing environmental education and the chance to explore outdoors. It also features an amazing 2-acre nature playground and their Amazing Garden houses tropical plants and reptile and amphibian friends that have all come to use through rehab and cannot be re-released into the wild. Beech Creek collaborates with Raptor Hallow Sanctuary so that guests can get a close look at some of the most beautiful birds of prey and other creatures (snakes, fox, rabbits, etc.) that have also all come through a rehabilitation program. Keep an eye out for their seasonal events throughout the year - there's always something happening at Beech Creek Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve!


Organization Spotlight

Beech Creek Botanical Gardens

Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve is a 181 acre park located just outside Alliance in Stark County. BCBG is celebrating its 20th anniversary welcoming guests from all over Ohio. This beautiful park is a great place to recharge mentally and physically. As seen on their website, the mission of BCBG states “We believe that quality of life and the health of the environment are interdependent and that an understanding of nature improves the lives of individuals. We provide educational opportunities and interactive experiences that inspire people to be good stewards of their communities and the world.”

One of our newest FVA members, Christine Haddon, is the Volunteer Coordinator for BCBG. I recently asked Christine what her favorite part of working at BCBG is and she replied “I began working at Beech Creek Botanical Gardens in January of 2022, after a 17-year break from non-profit work to raise my girls.  One of my favorite perks of working at a botanic garden is the chance to spend time outside and just “be” in nature. As a volunteer coordinator, I have the privilege of working with a diverse group of volunteers, each of whom brings their own interesting perspective and stories to their work at Beech Creek.  I love learning about the lives of each of my volunteers.  I have always been drawn to the “why” of volunteerism and it’s my goal to fulfill that for each person that gives their time to us at the gardens.” I wholeheartedly agree with Christine that having the ability to be outside as part of your job is restorative and soothing.

May is mental health awareness month, and what better way to help take care of your mind than to find some peace and quiet in nature? Please stop and visit Beech Creek Botanical Garden or any of our amazing natural areas in Northeast Ohio. We are so fortunate to have such abundance of green space and wildlife in our area.