October 2017 Park Angel of the Month: Kathleen Gunning
Kathleen Gunning will soon begin her fourth year volunteering with the Charleston Parks Conservancy and she shows no signs of slowing down. Kathleen attends Garden in the Parks each Tuesday and Thursday and she serves on the planning and decorating committees for community events, lending her artistic touch and bright smile to make these events even more fun and lively. She especially enjoys planning her favorite event of the year, Teddy Bear Picnic.
“It can be a full week of work. I’m volunteering myself out of gainful employment,” Kathleen says with a laugh.
Kathleen relocated to Charleston in 2013 and lived on Ashley Avenue, not far from Allan Park and Hampton Park. She says she was wooed right away by the work of the Conservancy and our Park Angels in those parks and she quickly signed up to help.
“For a newbie it was a bonus!” Kathleen recalled. “Since I was new to Charleston when I began volunteering I learned the city by traveling to all of our different parks in many different areas.”
Then, in summer of 2014, Kathleen took up the mantle of Lead Park Angel. “If she’s more than 10 minutes late to any event people start to text her,” Rachel Kelley, Conservancy volunteer coordinator jokes, “It’s weird if she’s not here.”
Kathleen has planted and tended thousands of flowers over the years, but she doesn’t consider herself an expert gardener. She says,“I’ve really enjoyed the free garden education. The horticulturalists are always gracious about answering any questions about plants and gardens. They have helped me identify plants and problems with a photo from my iPhone!”
Kathleen volunteers with a number of other Charleston based organizations, but Charleston Parks Conservancy remains her favorite. “People here are so kind and like minded with their love of parks, gardens, and the outdoors. I love it.”
You can find Kathleen every Tuesday and Thursday at Garden in the Parks.
Learn how you can become a Park Angel volunteer by clicking here..