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Volunteer Spotlights

Kristen Callahan

Kristen Callahan

Before her time as a volunteer, Kristen Callahan would walk through Como Park on her day off to admire the gardens and enjoy the butterfly sanctuary. She was inspired by the beauty and was driven to give back to the community – other people like her who love spending time amidst Saint Paul gardens. 

Kristen is now one of our dedicated Garden Steward volunteers with an eye for innovation and a love for volunteering. She has been maintaining rose beds, hosta beds and daylillies since last June, and considers her site at Como Picnic Pavillion a peaceful getaway. During her time gardening, Kristen discovered a hidden garden bed near Hamm’s Falls, as well. She adopted this area as another volunteer project, and now maintains the hidden garden in hopes of making it a relaxing sanctuary for the park’s visitors.

Over the summer, Kristen worked each week to pull weeds from the area and clear away messy brush. In the process, she uncovered patches of beautiful limestone rock. She said the experience was like finding a hidden treasure, and that thrilling discoveries like this one are what excite her about volunteering. Kristen is passionante about both her project and giving back to the community. She loves volunteering because it connects her to other volunteers with similar interests and passions, and it allows her to stay active and enjoy the outdoors.

Kristen Callahan 2

Rotary Club

For nearly fifteen years the Rotary Club of Saint Paul has been volunteering their time to beautify the city of Saint Paul! The group maintains three beds of hardy, colorful petunias at the Cleveland Circle site near the Xcel Energy Center.

For the group, gardening and maintaining flower beds is not only a volunteer cause, but also an environmental cause. Larry Morgan, an avid volunteer and member of the Rotary Club of Saint Paul, says while the petunia beds add warmth and color to the city, he has also witnessed the flowers attract bees. In addition to providing environments for local pollinators, the group makes their own leaf mulch. Volunteers bring their leaves to a compost center and create the mulch themselves. The mulch is environmentally friendly, highly absorbent, and acts as a strong barrier against invasive weeds.

The Rotary Club of Saint Paul has ten volunteers that maintain the Cleveland Circle site, with the help of about ten volunteers from the Union Gospel Mission. The group takes pride in the warm and welcoming beauty of their site. In the midst of an industrial city like Saint Paul, Larry said he loves to drive by Cleveland Circle and see the burst of color that the petunia beds provide.

Cleveland Circle
Cleveland Circle 2

Questions? Contact Ryanna Jackson, Volunteer Coordinator, at or 651-632-2411.

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