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Staff Highlight: Meet Erica!

By: Alissa Tarrant, IBG Content Coordinator | 06/06/2022

I got a text from Erica: “I’m going to water the veggie garden in 45 minutes!” 
Perfect time for an interview, right? 

If you haven’t met Erica yet, she’s IBG’s Horticulture Volunteer Coordinator. She spends a lot of her time out in the Garden, working alongside the horticulture volunteers on various projects. 

In her interview, Erica was pointing out romaine lettuce and radishes while answering questions. Here’s what she had to say: 

Where is your favorite part of the Garden?

“I’ve got two! Foothills Grove is my favorite spot for relaxin’, and the Vegetable Garden is the best place for snackin’!”

What’s the most exciting part of your role here, in your opinion?

“The most exciting part of my job so seeing the volunteers on a daily basis. They bring so much joy with them every morning I greet them at the front gates and I’m immediately happier – our volunteers are pretty spectacular.”

Do you have any interesting hobbies or talents?

“My go-to talent show performance was always the hula hoop. Whenever there’s a hula hoop around, I will use it!”

What part of IBG’s mission do you resonate with most?

“I’m equally a plant person and a people person, so the whole mission resonates with me . If I HAD to choose one, it would be ‘Celebrate,’ because that sounds like a lot of fun!”

Do you have any pets?

“No, 😣 but I love fostering dogs when I can and I want to welcome a dog into my home someday soon!”

How are your houseplants doing?

“The short answer is – yes, they are dying. I am trying to work on it; my intentions are good. If death occurs, that’s just…highly likely at the moment. Please don’t tell Michele.”

Are you a coffee drinker, a tea drinker, or something else entirely?

“I am fully addicted to coffee – I would drink it all the time but I have way too much anxiety to drink a lot of it, and it would be really unhealthy to let it replace my water intake.”

If you were to switch jobs with someone at the Garden for the day, who would you switch with and why?

“I think I would switch with Eric and book all my favorite artists and plan a bunch of cool garden parties!”

Have you ever had a total gardening mishap?

“I treat gardening as an experiment, every time I’ve made a mistake, it’s an awesome way to learn something new. Gardening doesn’t have to be perfect and nobody can have a perfect garden – so it’s par for the course.”

What do you like to do on your days off?

“I like to ride my bike, get outside with family and friends, and I always find ways to participate in local food systems! I enjoy buying locally from farmers markets and going to local restaurants.” 

What do you love about horticulture volunteers?

“Entering a spot where you don’t know your role takes a lot of courage, I am so grateful for the volunteers that show up to join our community. I work to find any way, however I can, to make people feel most welcome and secure, and that is something I will always do. Not treating gardening like it has to be perfect is part of my mission to make our volunteers happy to be here.”

Erica munched on some lettuce leaves and posed for a few cute photos before we parted ways. Next time you’re in the Garden, you might run into Erica! Don’t be afraid to say hi and ask her questions about the volunteer program. 

If you’d like to become a horticulture volunteer, feel free to reach out! Click the button below to find more information on volunteering. 

Become a Volunteer!