Tour Guide program leaders and Friends volunteers Sherley Garder-Smith and Diana Lumsden have been giving walking tours of the Public Garden to a delighted public for nearly a decade. This month, we are thrilled to spotlight these special volunteers who bring the parks to life each summer — read our interview here.
How did you get involved with the Friends?
Sherley: When I moved into Boston from the suburbs, my new husband was afraid I would miss my gardens, so he introduced me to his long-time friend Henry Lee who promptly put me on the Horticulture Committee of the Friends. I was so impressed by the dedication and diligence of these volunteers.
Diana: My first experience with the Friends was about seven years ago, responding to a small ad in my local free newspaper looking for volunteers to lead tours of the Public Garden.
What is the most fulfilling part about being a tour guide?
Sherley: Interacting with our tour participants as we share the history and horticulture of the Garden is always stimulating. Part of our mission is to educate the public about the vital importance of greenspaces, and especially trees, in our city environment and it is uplifting to interact with others as we spread this message.
Diana: I find it most fulfilling as a tour guide to contribute to the public’s deeper knowledge of and appreciation for our parks.
What is your favorite park memory? What is your favorite park and why?
Sherley: It is a joy to remember Bobby Moore asking if anyone could help with tending the borders of the Public Garden at a Board meeting several years ago. Impetuously, I volunteered for the Garden Club of the Back Bay – and thus was born the Border Brigade. We now meet monthly in the Public Garden and feel so connected to this beautiful and historic space.
Diana: My favorite Public Garden memory is finally figuring out on which particular bench Robin Williams and Matt Damon sat in the movie Good Will Hunting! My favorite park is the Boston Public Garden which I love for its tranquility.