Category: Volunteer

March Volunteer of the Month: Helen Routh



Helen Routh

Helen, Helen, sweet, sweet Helen,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row.

A few liberties were taken with the nursery rhyme; however, the Volunteer of the Month, Helen Routh, is not only a woman who is extremely efficient and conscientious in her business role, but she is also a woman with a definite playful side.

I first witnessed her good nature when she underwent surgery to her foot last year.  I felt so badly for her pain, but the good natured woman was quick to reply with her humorous wry wit.  It put a huge smile on my face!

Helen Routh has been a member with the Edmonton Horticultural Society, off and on since 2002.  Volunteerism is not unknown to her.  Helen has had a variety of different roles during this time:  Venue Manager, Volunteer Co-ordinator, and even had her garden open for Open Gardens.  More recently, she was the Board of Directors Secretary.

Helen’s work ethnic is second to none.   The day after a Board Meeting, the minutes were sent out to each Board Member before any of the Directors had their first cup of coffee the following morning.  Very impressive, indeed!  EHS was fortunate to have a very qualified person in the role of Board Secretary for 2 years.

Back to Helen’s garden…..

Helen and her husband are in the process of creating/building a seating area in front of their home.   In addition, every fall, Helen plants tulip bulbs so that she will have a colourful display first thing in the Spring.  Tulips are her favourite flower.  No wonder!  What fun would it be to sit and enjoy this area, with tulips a-bloom and beautiful butterflies flitting back and forth, dancing gracefully from one delicious nectar feast to another!

In their backyard, a huge vegetable garden dominates.   Practicing good horticultural habits always produces bountiful yields!  Colourful blooms frame the area.

To describe Helen:  the silver bells are the beauty within her; the cockle shells are the jewels that surround her; and the pretty maidens are the butterflies.

So, Helen is indeed a force to be reckoned with.  She plans to continue volunteering with the EHS, working and then sitting in the garden, enjoying the bounty of the garden and watching butterflies.

It gives me great pleasure to announce Helen Routh as the Volunteer of the Month, March, 2015.

Helen received a gift certificate from Flowers on 50th, Volunteer of the Month certificate and a copy of the complete script.

Pat and Jon Brehaut: Volunteers of the Month: January/February 2015

Pat and Jon

By Renita Eilertson

Pat and Jon

Pat and Jon. Photo supplied by Pat Brehaut

What a creative team! Each person, contributing their talents in different ways, and yet working together for EHS since 1998. It was evident from the onset that their goal was to make the Edmonton Horticultural Society a success. Such dedication deserves recognition.

Learn more ...

Donna Bagdan, 2014 Volunteer of the Year

At the September 2014 Awards Evening, this special award was presented for outstanding volunteerism.

Congratulations Donna!

Donna has ably Chaired the Garden Tour for the past three years, taking this important EHS event it to a new level of prestige that attracted media attention and sold out crowds. Donna was successful in recruiting some of Edmonton's most attractive gardens for the tour three years running, managing a record number of enthusiastic volunteer gatekeepers, increasing the profile of the tour and the EHS through promotional activities and partnerships with the gardening/business community and local media, and raising more funds that ever before.

Always a warm and enthusiastic EHS ambassador, Donna organized a volunteer appreciation event for EHS volunteers in 2013 and is involved annually in the Edmonton Communities in Bloom program, including emceeing the Edmonton in Bloom Awards event each August.


Donna's award-winning garden


Donna's professional expertise in the filed of design has led to the creation of a spectacular, award-winning home garden that she and partner, Brian Heidecker tend with care and share frequently with guests. Donna has also lent her design and management skills this year to the renovation of the EHS office.

While the EHS is fortunate to have a number of talented and committed volunteers, we are pleased to recognize accomplishments above and beyond expectation in presenting Donna with a Volunteer of the Year award.


Donna received a special plaque, a $20 gift card for Flowers on 50th, as well as a Volunteer of the Year certificate.

Our thanks to Flowers on 50th for supporting our Volunteers.


Wilf Maul, July 2014 Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations Wilf!

maul_vomIf you’ve ever admired the covers and colored photographs in recent Gardener’s Gate issues, you will find that many of these have been contributed by Wilf Maul, who takes delight in sharing the beauty of his acreage just west of Edmonton. Wilf and his wife, Brigitte, purchased a “cow pasture” in 1970 and turned it into a magnificent oasis they call home. Flowing waterfalls, ponds, castles, a mountain, and copious numbers of colourful flower beds adorn their property.

Since becoming a member and an avid supporter of the EHS in the 1990’s, Wilf has opened his heart and his home to us through the Open Gardens program, and to other garden-lovers as well. One will also see Wilf snapping photographs at EHS functions, as well as for Front Yards in Bloom and the EHS Archives. Wilf seems to have an endless supply of time, talent, knowledge and plants to share with fellow gardeners. He has won garden competitions, photography competitions and was the first to receive the EHS Gardener of the Year Award in 2008.

We are delighted to recognize Wilf Maul as the Volunteer of the Month, July, 2014.

Wilf received a $20 gift card for Flowers on 50th, as well as a Volunteer of the Month certificate.

Our thanks to Flowers on 50th for supporting our Volunteers.


Sally Lore, June 2014 Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations Sally  vines_and_climbers_2_nd_sherry_brownlee_oct17_2109

Sally’s welcoming smile exemplifies her positive energy and personal satisfaction in giving back to the community through volunteerism. She learned the importance of volunteering early on and has served on many local boards and committees, including Northlands and the Klondike Days Association, as well as currently chairing Club and Community Services for the Rotary Club and sitting as a member of the University of Alberta Senate.

Sally's gardening-related organizational skills led to her role as an initial organizer and co-chair for the Alberta Ballet’s House and Garden Tour, but we know Sally best for her liaison with the City of Edmonton and Communities in Bloom Canada…our Front Yards in Bloom program.

This spring, Sally joined the EHS Board of Directors and took on the job of organizing a successful Volunteer Appreciation event at the Enjoy Center in June. We are pleased to announce Sally Lore as June Volunteer of the Month! Congratulations Sally, and thank you.

Sally received a $20 gift card for Flowers on 50th, as well as a Volunteer of the Month certificate.

Our thanks to Flowers on 50th for supporting our Volunteers.