As a downtown business, downtown OKC is important to us. Thus, donating time to volunteer at Myriad Gardens events sounded perfect to us for a number of reasons. I’ll get into those in a moment, but first, let me tell you about the event, and our experience. The Myriad Gardens posts all of their events, and volunteer opportunities online (http://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/support/volunteer/). Jackie, and I signed up to volunteer at the Full Moon Bike Ride and Run. We helped out with the registration booth, which was relatively simple, but fast paced. At first, we were confused on a few details, and did not know the answer to many of the questions presented to us. However, participants were polite, and did not mind when we had to ask for additional help to get them accurate information. At times, the registration line backed up quickly, but participants seemed to feel that we were moving people through at a rapid enough rate to not grow tired or agitated. All in all, I do not recall anyone complaining, and everyone appeared to be having a great time at a great event.
If you do not get to downtown much, or have not visited the Myriad Gardens lately, I highly advise it. The gardens are beautiful, and filled with entertainment or activities. Typically, I pass the gardens during the day when I am downtown for work. However, seeing the gardens in the evening was especially delightful. It felt calm and quiet, even though there were people all around. Runners and cyclists flooded in for the Full Moon event (which is completely free, although a donation is greatly appreciated), and on the opposite side of the gardens, many people turned out for yoga. OKC is no longer a city with “nothing to do,” and the Myriad Gardens is a place to relax, engage, learn, and play.
My experiences have led me to view volunteering as opportunities for fun. I’m sure some people would ask, “what’s fun about registering event participants?” My reply would be, it’s not about what we’re doing, it’s about what why we’re doing it. The Myriad Gardens is important to me for many reasons. First, it showcases the importance of protecting the environment, and maintaining green spaces within cities. Second, it provides tremendous educational opportunities, and reminds people that it’s okay leave the house and get active. Lastly, it brings community members together, and more now than ever we need people to recognize our similarities, and our common interest in building sustainable communities.
For more information about the Myriad Gardens, check out their website at http://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/
Dustin Choate, LPC