Written by Nancy Crawley
You’ll find Edie Marion at the steering wheel of the Gardens’ tram twice a week, making sure guests get just the right views of the American Horse and the rest of the Sculpture Garden – “Neuron” and “Listening to History” are among her favorites. Then she pilots the 42-seat, diesel-powered tram on winding paths next to the Japanese Garden, Michigan Farm Garden and Woodland Shade Garden.
No, she’s not a professional driver, though she is known to hop on her motor scooter for a spin at home.
Edie, 66, was a registered nurse for 32 years, caring for patients at Mercy Health St. Mary’s hospital in the intermediate cardiac and later the psychiatric medical unit.
She has been volunteering since shortly after retiring in 2012, though her ties to the Gardens go way back to its construction when she was an early donor.
“It’s an organization I believe in,” she said. “It fills a big niche in Grand Rapids, and it’s nice to be part of it.”
She’s also been a volunteer for Wyoming city elections and the Wyoming Police Department’s RSVP program handling jobs like parking lot patrols and inspection complaints.
She’s a firm believer in the payback that comes from volunteering. “I tell people it would be so good for you to get out, help people and do something with your hands and your mind.”
To explore volunteering, visit meijergardens.org/involved/volunteer/, or contact Tom Hoving at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-974-5221. Volunteer orientation sessions are set for Dec. 7, 2016, and Feb. 7 and April 11, 2017, starting at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.