The County Board will honor two volunteers on Tuesday, April 25 as the 2016 recipients of the Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Award.
An ardent supporter of Arlington’s natural resources, Yu-hsin Hsu has volunteered with Long Branch Nature Center, the Arlington Central Library pollinator garden, the Natural Resources Management Unit and Arlington Regional Master Naturalists.
Yu-hsin became a volunteer in our gardens in early spring 2016. At that time, she happened to pass by the Library’s native pollinator garden, where she saw a staff member weeding. She offered to help, and has not stopped helping since – eventually taking over the care of the pollinator garden. (This garden is particularly special to Central Library staff, as it was created and nurtured by former coworker Lynn Kristianson, who died in 2015.)
Margaret Brown, Central Services Division Chief at the Library says of Yu-hsin: “She brings to the garden a spunky energy and perseverance, as well as a similar passion for educating others about the critical importance of pollinators and native plants. She is tireless in her efforts and selfless in her generosity.”
At Long Branch Nature Center, Yu-hsin has been invaluable as a Saturday animal care volunteer since fall 2013, logging about 160 hours and freeing up weekend staff to attend to visitor contact and other activities as well as directing other animal care volunteers in their tasks. In addition to animal care, Yu-hsin helps with invasive exotic plant removals and preparing for twice-yearly native plant sales at the center.
The final piece of Yu-hsin volunteering trifecta is her work with the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Natural Resources Management Unit, educating and involving children in the Remove Invasive Plants (RiP) program, volunteering at the native plant nursery, and with habitat restoration projects. She has also helped inventory County plants and animals through the annual National Geographic Bioblitz, and engages in other conservation and outreach activities through the Master Naturalist Program.