Anyone who has volunteered as a Mercer Ambassador in the past few months can tell you it’s an easy and enjoyable way to spend a few hours outdoors on a Saturday or Sunday.
“If you like talking to people and making them feel at home, you’ll enjoy being a Mercer Ambassador,” said volunteer coordinator Jamie Hartwell. “The Mercer Botanic Information Center is often the first place visitors stop after entering the gardens. People who are looking for maps, directions, and information appreciate seeing a friendly face to help them. Most just want to know the way to the restrooms and the library!”
The information center has been closed since Hurricane Harvey, but the need for information is always present, especially for first time visitors.
“We have so much information to share that can make a visit to Mercer an educational experience,” said Hartwell. “Ambassadors pass out flyers about upcoming events, Mercer maps, and Precinct 4 publications. Happenings is a comprehensive source of information that lists Precinct 4 events and activities, not just at Mercer.”
The most recent publication that’s been added to the table is the bountiful butterflies color pamphlet, which includes a butterfly life cycle diagram, butterfly guide, caterpillar raising tips, and ways to attract butterflies to your garden. It’s a colorful and easy tool to use for butterfly identification.
“Visitors like finding out about Mercer’s upcoming events and activities,” said Kim Jordan, an ambassador who volunteered with her daughter, Georgie Jordan. “Mercer has so much to offer besides beautiful surroundings, like Lunch Bunch, Storytime, camps, and volunteer opportunities, to name a few. Whether they’re one-time visitors here because they have a layover at the airport or they’re Mercer regulars, most everyone appreciates being welcomed and thanked for visiting.”
Volunteer groups are also popular at Mercer, including the Grand Lilies chapter of the National Charity League (NCL), Harris County Master Gardeners, and the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service.
“The public parks fit perfectly with our mission of educating Harris County residents on gardening and horticulture,” said Brandi Keller, a master gardener program coordinator with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. “Visitors often stop on their way out of the gardens, after they’ve formulated questions about plants they’ve seen on their walk. We appreciate this unique collaboration to serve the local community.”
To find out more about the Mercer Ambassador program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hcp4.net/event/mercer-ambassadors-2/. For more information about the master gardener program, visit hcmga.tamu.edu/.