Olbrich Botanical Gardens is honored to recognize six outstanding volunteers as recipients of The President's Volunteer Service Award in 2017. To be eligible for the award, volunteers must have completed more than 4,000 hours of service to others, demonstrating exemplary citizenship through volunteering. For comparison, 4,000 hours is the equivalent of working a full-time, 40-hour-per-week job for a time period of two years!

The President's Volunteer Service Award recipients are:
Sue Penfield              6,258 hours
Peggy Johnson         5,625 hours
Jean Endres              4,740 hours
Opal Prochnow         4,423 hours
Connie Newman      4,411 hours
Beverly Schluenz      4,093 hours

Though volunteer Sue Penfield has given more than 6,000 hours of service to Olbrich she explained,

"I never thought of it being work because it's so rewarding to work with everyone."

Sue has been an Olbrich volunteer since September of 1992, working mainly as a greeter in the Visitor Center Lobby.

The reasons individual volunteers choose to donate their time is as varied as the individuals themselves. When asked what volunteering means to her, Beverly Schluenze quickly answered,"It means I am helping them out, I'm there and they need someone." Beverly has been helping Olbrich visitors since January of 1991 (the same year the Conservatory opened) as a gift shop volunteer.

One of the perks of volunteerism is getting to choose the type of job you'd like to do. Opal Prochnow has volunteered for special events, as a greeter in the Visitor Center, and for Olbrich's education programs since May 1998. Opal commented, "I got involved right away at the plant sale, and different various sales, it's been fun to watch it grow."

Olbrich Botanical Gardens wouldn't be the place it is today without the help of volunteers. With over 600 volunteers giving a combined total of about 25,000 hours, every service and program at Olbrich truly benefits from the talent of volunteers.


Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located in Madison, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Monona at 3330 Atwood Avenue.