Volunteers Keep Arboretum Blooming

Article excerpt

Byline: M.J. Porter Daily Herald Staff Writer

Frank Reidy has seen the turtles hatch and watched as they stumbled to the river for their initial plunge.

And he's seen baby ducks and geese. He's even spotted a coyote.

Reidy, 73, is a volunteer at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, where he and more than 300 other volunteers work to keep the arboretum looking its best for visitors.

Founded in 1922 by Joy Morton, the arboretum is home to more than 3,000 types of trees, shrubs and vines from around the world that are used for research and education.

When he retired six years ago, Reidy of Glen Ellyn said he volunteered at the arboretum because he likes being outside.

"I used to go walking there, and I enjoyed the animals and the trees," he said.

Normal duties for Reidy include weeding, pruning and making sure the trees and grounds in the Japan-China geographics group are in tip-top shape. He also spends his Fridays in the arboretum's library, helping to input its catalog of plants on the computer.

Dolores Kopp, 69, of Lombard found her special niche as a volunteer in the arboretum's volunteer office seven years ago.

"It's very interesting," she said. "I've had the opportunity to learn about computers and develop my personal skills. It's been a challenge."

Kopp says she likes volunteering at the arboretum because of the atmosphere. …